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IN PORTUGAL 



BY THE SAME AUTHOR 

THE MAGIC OF SPAIN 

Crown 8vo. $s. net 






IN PORTUGAL 



si 

\^ ft* 
BY AUBREY F. G. BELL 



Oh quem fora a Portugal, 
Terra que Deus bemdizia ! 

Romance 

(O to go to Portugal, land heaven-blest) 






X. 



LONDON : JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD, 
NEW YORK : JOHN LANE COMPANY. MCMXII. 



WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED. LONDON AND BK00LB8 



PREFACE 

THE guide-books give full details of 
the marvellous convents, gorgeous 
palaces and solemn temples of 
Portugal, and no attempt is here 
made to write complete descriptions of them, 
the very names of some of them being omitted. 
But the guide-books too often treat Portugal 
as a continuation, almost as a province of Spain. 
It is hoped that this little book may give some 
idea of the individual character of the country, 
of the quaintnesses of its cities, and of peasant 
life in its remoter districts. 

While the utterly opposed characters of the 
two peoples must probably render the divorce 
between Spain and Portugal eternal and reduce 
hopes of union to the idle dreams of politicians, 
Portugal in itself contains an infinite variety — 
the charnecas and cornlands of Alemtejo ; the 
hills and moors, pinewoods, corkwoods and 
olives of Extremadura ; the red soil and faint 
blue mountains of Algarve, with its figs and 
carobs and palms, and little sandy fishing-bays ; 

V 

SZ>3f 



vi PREFACE 

the clear streams and high massive ranges and 
chimneyless granite villages of Beira Baixa and 
Beira Alta ; the vines and sand-dunes and rice- 
growing alagadipos of Douro ; the wooded hills, 
mountain valleys, flowery meadows and trans- 
parent streams and rivers of rainy Minho, with 
its white and grey scattered houses, its crosses 
and shrines and chapels, its maize-fields and 
orchards and tree- or granite-propped vines ; 
and, finally, remote inaccessible Traz-os-Montes, 
bounded on two sides by Spain, on the South 
by the Douro, to which its rivers of Spanish 
origin, Tamega, Tua, Sabor, flow through its 
range on range of bare mountains, with pre- 
cipitous ravines and yellow-brown clustered 
villages among olives, chestnuts and rye. Each 
of the eight provinces (more especially those of 
the alemtcjaiios, minhotos and beiroes) preserves 
many peculiarities of language, customs and 
dress ; and each, in return for hardships endured, 
will give to the traveller many a day of delight 
and interest. 

MlRANDELLA (TRAZ-OS-MONTES), 

July, 1911. 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER 

Preface .... 

I. Characteristics and Customs 

II. Travelling in Portugal 

III. The Charm of Alemtejo 

IV. Charnecas of Alemtejo 
V. An Early Morning Drive 

VI. The City of Evora 

VII. The City of Beja 

VIII. In Algarve . 

IX. EXTREMADURA 

X. Lisbon I. 

XI. Lisbon II. — Alfama 

XII. The Convent and Tower of Belem . 

XIII. ClNTRA 

XIV. Mafra, Alcobaca, Aljubarrota, Batalha 

XV. King Diniz and Leiria on the Liz . 

XVI. From Leiria to Thomar and Beira Baixa 

XVII. PlNEWOODS OF EXTREMADURA 

XVIII. The Serra da Estrella 

XIX. Villages of the Serra 

XX. The Cercal of Bussaco 



PAGE 
V 

3 

18 

27 

33 

39 

44 

50 

54 

63 

71 

81 

85 

89 

99 

114 

118 

124 

128 

136 

142 



VI 11 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTBB 




PAG 5 


XXI. 


The University of Coimbra 


. 148 


XXII. 




157 


XXIII. 


The Province of Minho .... 


163 


XXIV. 




180 


XXV. 


Through Traz-os-Montes .... 


185 


XXVI. 


Where Lusitania and her Sister meet . 


196 


XXVII. 




202 


XXVIII. 


The Portuguese Language 


207 


XXIX. 


A Modern Portuguese Poet . 


212 






223 



IN PORTUGAL 



B 



IN PORTUGAL 

CHAPTER 1 

CHARACTERISTICS AND CUSTOMS 

A antiga fortaleza, 
A lealdade d'animo e nobreza. — Camoes. 

(The ancient vigour and loyalty of mind and nobleness.) 

CAMOES speaks of the "ancient" 
vigour of the Portuguese, but those 
who imagine the Portuguese of the 
twentieth century to be a soft and 
enervated nation will be surprised to find how 
much quiet determination, persistent work and 
brave endurance of hardships exists in Portugal. 
Camoes elsewhere (Lusiads,' v, canto 72) lays 
fresh stress on loyalty as a fundamental 
characteristic of the Portuguese : — 

Aquella portugueza alta excellencia 
De lealdade firme e obediencia. 

, (That noble Portuguese virtue of stout loyalty and obedience.) 

The Portuguese can in fact combine loyalty 
with independence, docility with determination ; 
they accept a situation which they may not like, 

3 



4 IN PORTUGAL 

but with a pertinacious looking for better things, 
persistent rather than restless. Thus during all 
the time of the Spaniard's domination in 
Portugal (from 1580 to 1640) many ceased not 
to look for the return of that King Sebastian 
who had perished in Africa, but of whose death 
no certain news had ever been received. But 
they are often indolent and careless, with fugitive 
enthusiasms, vague imaginings and a love of 
words and rhetoric which they share with the 
Spanish. The name Algarvio has come to be 
the common Portuguese word for a chatterer, 
but, although the Portuguese of the North are 
more reserved and morose than the inhabitants 
of Algarve, they can scarcely be said to be more 
taciturn. 

The Paniberian ideal has been revived from 
time to time (as by the Spanish statesman 
Canovas del Castillo) ; but the Castilian tends 
to despise the Portuguese, and the Portuguese 
returns this dislike in flowing measure. To the 
uneducated Spaniard, especially, the Portuguese 
is an inferior being, muy ruin, muy miserable, 
and he is the butt of their stories, invariably 
playing the part of the fool and dupe. This 
mutual dislike of Spaniard and Portuguese is 
not based upon a similarity in weaknesses, in 
which case it would be the more easily intelligible, 
but rather upon an opposition of excellences, 
a complete divergence of character. The 



CHARACTERISTICS AND CUSTOMS 5 

thoughtful humaneness of the Portuguese is poles 
apart from the noble rashness and imprudence of 
the Spaniard ; the Spaniard's restless discontent 
is replaced in Portugal by what might almost 
be called a contented melancholy, a " humorous 
sadness " like that of Jaques in " As you like it" 
They have a resigned, a genial pessimism, 1 a 
patient, perhaps indolent tolerance, finding relief 
in sarcasm and irony. 

A sentence in one of Eca de Queiroz' 
" Contos " — " Esse era urn civilizado e accusou 
logo o governo ; he, as a civilized man, at once 
laid the blame (for some lost luggage) upon the 
Government " — might seem to imply that the 
discontent of the people in Portugal was as 
unreasoned as that of the people in Spain, their 
politics as unruly. But they are in fact much 
more apt to be indolently indifferent, ever ready 
to say of a government, whether Monarchist or 
Republican : " nem e bom new e ruiiii — it is 
neither good nor bad." The Portuguese 
peasant preserves a noble independence, and if 
at an election he votes as he is directed without 
a thought or murmur, it is that he is practical, 
and considers the result of an election to be 
quite immaterial to his affairs ; and he, at least, 
has none of the sabujice 2 that bows down before 

1 Cf. their frequent exclamation Ora essa, almost equivalent to 
II nemanquait que cela. 

s Span, ramploneria — a kind of moral cowardice. 



IN PORTUGAL 

foreign customs, foreign virtues, foreign phrases 
and fashions. 

In courtesy the Portuguese scarcely yield to 
the Castilians, and if in Portugal characters are 
not so strongly marked or asserted as in Spain, 
the Portuguese can nevertheless join to pleasant- 
ness of manner a very real firmness of purpose, 
just as in many parts of the country the blue 
eyes of the peasants have an expression at once 
kindly and frank. The Portuguese have a quiet 
dignity, but personalities are less aggressively 
emphasized than in Spain ; they are vain, but 
they have not the irascible, susceptible pride of 
the Spaniard, theirs is a more placid vanity. 
In their address they are even more high- 
flown than the Spanish, Vossa Excellencia alter- 
nating with Vossemce (Vossa Merce, your 
worship) and o Senhor (in the third person, 
or, especially in Minho and Traz-os-Montes, meu 
senhor). 

It is interesting to compare Spanish and 
Portuguese crowds. A Spanish crowd is so 
evidently composed of units only momentarily 
and loosely knit together, a Portuguese crowd 
is a mass more compact and closely welded ; 
the rumour of a Lisbon holiday- crowd is 
sufficiently imposing, 'but it is a continuous roar or 
murmur, whereas the sound of a Spanish crowd 
is continually broken into individual shouts and 
laughter ; the latter has the appearance of a 



CHARACTERISTICS AND CUSTOMS 7 

fortuitous concourse of atoms, the former of a 
united multitude. 

Naturally so fair a country excites deep love, 

amor da patria nao movida 
De premio vil, mas alto e quasi eterno, 

( Love ,'of country unmoved by low reward, but noble and as it 
were immortal.) 

nor would the Portuguese ever submit for long 
to a union with Spain, even as an autonomous 
region. 

The two characteristics most fundamentally 
Portuguese are perhaps a quiet human thought- 
fulness and a certain * wistful melancholy or 
saudade. The very children are quiet, they seem 
to have no noisy games ; the voices are soft, the 
faces meditative. The famous saudade of the 
Portuguese is a vague and constant desire for 
something that does not and probably cannot 
exist, for something other than the present, a 
turning towards the past or towards the future ; 
not an active discontent or poignant sadness but 
an indolent dreaming wistfulness. It is not the 
attribute of poetic idlers only, but belongs also to 
the toilers in the fields. A popular cantiga says — 

A ausencia tem uma filha 

Que se chama Saudade, 
Eu sustento mae e filba 

Bern contra minha vontade. 

(Absence has a daughter, whose name is Saudade ; alas, both 
mother and daughter are mine against my will.) 



8 IN PORTUGAL 

but as a rule saudade is caused by nothing so 
definite as absence from a person or thing beloved. 
Heal saudade, saudade* portuguezas, 1 need be 
based on no grief or sorrow (sem. do, sem mdgoa), 
as Almeida-Garrett informs us in his poem 
" A Saudade " :— 

Saudade, oh saudade amarga e crua, 

Numen dos ais, do pranto, 
Deus que os coracues sem do, sem mdgoa 

Tam cruel dilaceras, 
Sinto, siuto o teu ferro abrirme o peito. 

(Saudade, harsh and bitter Saudade, spirit of cries and lamen- 
tation, deity that so cruelly tearest the hearts of men without 
grief or sorrow, I feel, I feel thy sword piercing my breast.) 2 

The Portuguese, often intensely religious, has 
too much thoughtful reserve to be a fanatic or 
priest-ridden ; he is of liberal mind, tolerant, fond 
of progress, and possesses much good practical 
common-sense. Perhaps he is a little too prone 
to an inartistic neglect of past traditions and to a 
love of destruction for destruction's sake, white- 
washing pillar and capital and turning his con- 
vents into barracks. Even in the fifteenth 
century Gil Vicente, for all his devout religion, 
was ever ready to attack the monks. He desires 
to know what they do with their revenues : — 

1 Almeida-Garrett, in a poem entitled "Saudades." 

2 Cf. Camoes :— 

Agora a saudade do passado, 
Tormento puro, doce e magoado. 

(And now the longing for the past, pure torment bitter-sweet.) 



CHARACTERISTICS AND CUSTOMS 9 

A renda que apanhais 

O melhor que vos podeis 
Nas igrejas nao gastais, 

Aos pobres pouco dais, 
E nao sei que lhe fazeie. 

(Of the income you obtain 

By any means you may, 
The churches have no gain 

From alms you still abstain, 
How you spend it who shall say ?) 

He wishes all the monks to be planted in the 
sand, head downwards, heels in air : — 

Y plantar todos los frailes 

En la tierra que no es buena, 

Las coronas so el arena, 
Las pieruas hacia los aires. 

Almeida-Garrett, an ardent Liberal, as an artist 
regretted the disappearance of the monks from 
Portugal. l But now the priests are forbidden 
to wear their cassocks, many of them having but 
a slovenly appearance in slouching black suits, soft 
shirts, and bowlers or black squash hats ; and by 
a decree of the Republic the students of Coimbra 
are not obliged to wear their gowns. Thus 
Progress extends its dreary net of grey uni- 
formity over the land ; and the neglect of old 
traditions is one of the contradictions in the 
character of a people whose eyes turn willingly to 
the past ; just as it is difficult to reconcile their 
humaneness with the barbaric neglect of prisons 

1 No ponto de vista artistica porem o frade faz muita falta. — 
Artistically, however, the monks are a great loss. " Viagens na 
minha terra." 2 vols. Lisbon. 1846. 



10 IN PORTUGAL 

and prisoners that has been so often noted in 
Portugal. 

The fondness of the Portuguese for flowers is 
shown in every town and village, the sorriest 
hovel being often redeemed by a tinpot of 
magnificent carnations, and many a tiny quinta 
being set in a splendid garden of fruits and 
flowers. To their fondness for song and music 
witness the many cantigas, often improvised and 
sung by the peasants, sometimes to the accom- 
paniment of the guitar. Some of these cantigas 
have real poetical feeling, as — 

Oil que linda rosa branca 

Aquella roseira tem ; 
Debaixo ninguem lhe chega, 

La acima nao vae ninguem. 

(The white rose tree has flowered, 

It has a fair white rose ; 
Below no man may reach it 
And above no one goes.) 



Or 



Or 



Jd. o caminho tem herva, 
J& o atalho tem feno : 

Quando me encontro comtigo 
O dia 6 sempre pequeno. 

(The road is full of weeds 
And uncut stands the hay 

When I am with you speeds 
All too fast the^day.) 

O cravo depois de seco 
Foi-se queixar ao jardim, 

A rosa lhe respondeu : 
Por tempo todo tem fim. 



CHARACTERISTICS AND CUSTOMS 11 

(The withered carnation 

To the garden complained, 
But the rose made answer : 
In time all things must end.) 

Or 

Por te amar deixei a Deus, 

Ve la. que gloria perdi ; 
Agora vejo-me sd, 

Sem Deus, sem gloria, sem ti. 

(For thee what joy I lost 

Since to love thee God I left ; 
And now I am alone, 
Of God and thee bereft.) 

Or they are epigrammatic : — 

Tambem o mar e casado, 

Tambem o mar tern mulher, 
E casado com a areia, 

Bate nella quando quer. 1 

(The ocean too is married, 

He has taken the sand to wife, 
Since he can beat upon it 

When he wills to be at strife.) 

Or mere cradle songs : — ■ 

O meu menino tem sonho, 

Se tem sonho vae dormir, 
A Virgem Nossa Senhora 
O ha de vir cobrir. 

(My little babe is sleepy, 

And sleepy he shall sleep, 
\VTiile over him the Virgin 
Comes a watch to keep.) 

1 A more chivalrous version, however, gives the last line : — 
Da-lhe beijos quando quer. 



12 IN PORTUGAL 

Or simple riddles, as that of the rope used 
for tying loads on the ox-carts : — 

Vae ao pinhal encolhida, 
E vem estendida. 

(It goes to the piue-wood in a coil and comes back in strained 
toil.) 

The singing is less harsh than that of the 
peasants of Spain, but not less sad, although in 
a softer strain. Eca de Queiroz 1 wrote of work 
in Portugal that it was todo feito a cantar, and 
the following lines occur in a long poem by 
Camoes : — 

Canta o caminhante ledo 

No caminho trabalhoso 
Por entre o espesso arvoredo, 

E de noite o temeroso 
Cantando refreia o medo. 

Canta o preso docemente 
Os duros grilhues tocando ; 

Canta o segador contente, 
E o trabalhador cantando 

trabalho menos sente. 

(The wayfarer with song 

Gaily beguiles the way 
The deepening woods among, 

And when night clokes the day 
The timid grows more strong 

Singing ; the prisoner sings 
While fingering his chains ; 

The reaper's song blithe rings, 
And solace of his pains 

Song to each toiler brings.) 

1 Esse trabalho que em Portugal parece a mais segura das 
alegrias e a festa sempre incansavel, porque e todo feito a cantar. — 
Work which in Portugal seems the surest of joys and an untiring 
festival since it is ever accompanied by song. 



CHARACTERISTICS AND CUSTOMS 13 

Perhaps it is no exaggeration to say that two- 
thirds of the work in Portugal is done by the 
women. To them the Portuguese word mourejar 
is really applicable, since in fact they work like 
Moors or slaves — mourejam. Everywhere they 
work in the fields and appear to bear the brunt 
of the labour. In one field the woman in the 
heat of the day draws up bucket after bucket of 
water, while the man sits perched in a shady 
olive-tree ; in a neighbouring field a man watches 
six women at work among the maize ; in a third 
a group of women stand working in the summer 
sun while a group of men sit at the same work 
under a vine-trellis. Everywhere are to be seen 
women with huge loads of immense weight, 
while the men accompany them empty-handed. 
The man lies in his ox-cart and must have many 
a cigarro and a copa of wine or brandy after his 
hard day's work ; or he sits at his counter and 
bids his wife go out into the cruel sunshine to 
fetch a heavy bilha of water or other provisions. 
Women work in the quarries, women row heavy 
barges ; wherever there is hard work women are 
to be found. 

Recently in a strike the agricultural labourers 
at Beja demanded 800 reis a day (for the long 
harvest days), but for the women their demand 
was for little over a half this sum ; at present the 
men receive 420 reis and the women 240 (one 
shilling). Since, however, the women work 



14 IN PORTUGAL 

twice as hard as the men, and two wrongs make 
a right, the injustice is only apparent. Certainly, 
at least, the women of Portugal cannot be 
charged with indolence. The demand of 800 
reis may seem excessive when we think of 
Canons with 600 reis a day, cantonniers with 
from 300 to 400 a day (including Sundays), 1 
schoolmasters with 15 milreis a month, librarians 
with from 150 to 800 milreis a year (all these 
paid by the State) ; 2 but the demand was, of 
course, only for a few days in the year. 

The peasants, for all their poverty and hard 
work, maintain many a quaint custom of simple 
gaiety. In Minho, on the Day of the Kings, are 
held the janeiras (Januaries), when the young 
men go round the village, house by house, sing- 
ing ; if they are not given money, or at least a 
glass of wine, the compliments of their song are 
turned to insult : — 

Esta casa e de breu, 

A qui mora algum judeu. 

On the last day of April maios (Mays) are 
placed in the windows — branches of broom 
adorned with ribbons and flowers. The legend 
says that a branch of broom was placed at night 
upon the window of the house in which Christ 

1 One cantoneiro, in Alemtejo, earned 17 vintens a day (340 
reis); another, in Traz-os-MonteSj 11 vintens (220 reis). 

2 Soldiers during their years of service receive from the State 
one vintem (if quartered at Lisbon, a putaco). For the English value 
of these sums, see page 22. 



CHARACTERISTICS AND CUSTOMS 15 

was, as a signal for Him to be taken ; but next 
morning there was a similar branch of broom in 
the windows of all the houses. 

On the eve of St. John, the greatest rustic 
festival of the year — 

Cantam mo^as, cantam velhas, 
Na noite de Sao Joao 

(Young and old sing alike on the eve of St. John) — 

great baskets of magnificent huge blue thistles 
(alcachofras), worthy to adorn princes' houses, 
are in all the markets (at Lisbon as elsewhere;. 
They are not sold in bunches to deck rooms, but 
singly, at five reis apiece, and girls burn them in 
candles at midnight and then set them in 
the window. If in the morning sun the burnt 
fringe of blue appears, as it often does, to be still 
in flower, then their lovers are true. 

In some parts keening {carper) is still in vogue, 
although the carpimentos were forbidden as early 
as in the fifteenth century. At Santa Isabel do 
Monte (Minho) till recently, if not at the present 
day, it was the custom to place a small bilha of 
water, bread dipped in wine, and a five reis piece 
in the coffin. 

The deep piety of the North, contrasting 
with the more sceptical temperament of the South, 
is accompanied by many superstitious fears. 
In Minho there are spirits {borbormhos) in the 
air, and spirits, often malignant, in the solitude of 
the hills or in the depths of the forest. Not very 



16 IN PORTUGAL 

many months ago, at a small village called 
Barcon^'a, a woman was believed to be possessed 
by the spirit of her deceased aunt ; the parish 
priest refused to exorcize, but fortunately another 
priest was found willing to do so, and all was 
well. 

Drinking is less rare in Portugal than in 
Spain, or is held less in disgrace. In Spain the 
word bor?*acho is a deadly insult ; in Portugal the 
word bebedo (in Algarve escarado) is commonly 
used. In many parts the only drink obtainable 
is wine or a white brandy, 1 the two never failing 
possessions of every village venda, so that the 
peasant is forced to drink a copa of wine or 
brandy whenever he wishes to drink anything 
but water ; and even the coffee, when it is to be 
had, is profaned by the addition of brandy or 
rum. There is a cantiga : — 

Uma Canada 
1 Nao e nada, 
Um quartao 
Alegra o coraciio. 

[(A single pint 
There's nothing in 't, 
But a gallon may- 
Make the heart gay.) 2 



1 Sometimes made from the berries of the arbutus trees, which in 
Minho occasionally cover a whole hillside with their vivid green. 

2 A Canada, however, is considerably more than a pint., being indeed 
nearly two litres. A quartao is apparently not known as a liquid 
measure. Perhaps it should be quarteirao, a sixteenth part of a 



CHARACTERISTICS AND CUSTOMS 17 

The alga?~vios, when intending to go to a 
venda, say merely, " Let us go to that of so-and- 
so — vamos na (sc. venda) de fulano" Often in 
villages the amount of brandy drunk is consider- 
able, not that there is much drinking to excess, 
but that steadily every day copas of brandy are 
drunk as a stimulant for lack of good food and 
coffee. The old Portuguese customs and dress 
and characteristics are doomed to perish, they are 
already fast disappearing. At least we may hope 
that the advance of progress, levelling quaint 
traditions and delightful ceremonies, will bring a 
greater measure of well-being to these remote 
villages which fascinate the passing visitor but 
are pleasanter to look on than to live in. 

canada, the first part of the verse referring to wine, the second to 
bi and y. The principal measures are as follows : — 

A tonel ( = 1000 litres) = 2 pipas 

A pipa = 25 cantaros (21 at Oporto) 

A cantaro (or almude) = 2 potes 

A pote (the old alqueire) = 6 canadas 

A canada = 4 quartilhos 

A quartilho = 4 quarteiroes. 

The word barril is less usual in Portugal than the words pipa or 
touel. In Castille the carreteros call barriles little clay vessels that 
serve them instead of the leathern bota, and are shaped like a small 
flat round loaf stood on end, with a small handle. The name comes 
from bnrro, clay, but they are also made of osier lined with 
pitch. 



CHAPTER II 



TRAVELLING IN PORTUGAL 

"Acima, acima, gageiro, 1 
Acima, ao tope real ! 
Olha se inxergas Hespanha 
Areias de Portugal." 
" Alvicaras, capitao, 

Meu capitao general ! 
J«i vejo terras d'Hespanha 
Areias de Portugal." — Romance. 

(" Climb up, midshipman, up to the main topgallantmast, and 
see if you can sight Spain and the shores of Portugal." 

" Oh news, good news, my captain, for now can I see the lauds 
of Spain and the shores of Portugal.") 

Eis aqui, quasi cume da cabeca 

Da Europa toda, o reino Lusitano, 

Onde a terra se acaba e o mar comeca, 

E onde Phebo repousa no Oceano. — Caiiobb. 

(But lo, as it were the crown of the head of all Europe, the 
Lusitanian realm, where the land ceases and the sea begins, and 
where Phoebus sinks into the ocean.) 



HE best season for travelling in 
Portugal is the end of April and the 
beginning of May — 



1 In other versions he is called marinheiro, marujo, marujinho, 
pihto, pilotinho, p'riquito, Pedro, chiquito, gageirinho, 

18 




TRAVELLING IN TORTUGAL 19 

— pelo mes de Abril, 
De Maio antes um dia, 
Quando lirios e rosas 
Mostram mais sua alegria. 

( — in the month of April, 
A day before the month of May, 

For then lilies and roses 
Are seen in best array.) 

but certain parts, as Bussaco or the " fresca serra 
de Cintra," are pleasant even in late summer. 
The month of June, although in a land where 
already the March sun burns the lady in her 
palace — ■ 

Sol de Marco 
Queima a dama no paco — 

the sun may for many shine with too fierce a ray, 
has the advantage of being often entirely rainless. 
The peasants look for a cloudless June and a 
grey month of May : " Maio pardo, Junho claro." 
In June the hay is cut — 

Feno alto e baixo 
Em Junho e segado — 

and rain in June is said to spoil the wine and oil, 
and to give no bread x : — 

Agua pelo Sao Joao 
Tira azeite e vinho, 
E nao d£ pao. 

In June, but for an occasional thunderstorm, 

1 Another rustic saying of June is : — 

Lavra pelo Sao Joao 
Se queres haver pao. 

(Plough at the season of St. John if you would have bread.) 



20 IN PORTUGAL 

;i tormenla in the 8 err as, the sky is ever a cloud- 
less blue of clearest turquoise, or blue and white 
with floating rainless clouds. 

The facilities of travel are greater in 
Portugal than in Spain, the officials are less 
official, the regulations less inquisitorial, whether 
this is due to common-sense, courtesy, or 
indolence. But the trains are few, and those who 
wish to travel with any comfort are frequently 
obliged to hire carriages, the carro de correio (and 
often there is not even a carro de correio), though 
lighter and less utterly incommodious than the 
Spanish diligencia, scarcely coming within the 
category of things comfortable. In the trains 
there is less incentive to travel third-class than 
in Spain, since the third-class travellers have 
not the same interest for the foreigner ; he 
misses the " mirth and galliardize " of a Spanish 
company. Characteristically, the benches are 
more comfortable than in Spain, rounded instead 
of straight ; and in hot weather the plain wooden 
seats are preferable to the neglected, dusty 
cushions of the first-class carriages. 

A few of Portugal's hotels are excellent, but 
the hotels and hospedarlas of the small towns 
and villages, though clean, are very primitive, 
and the beds are of a notorious hardness. Even 
at the best hotel at Mafra one may be convinced 
that the marble so lavishly used in the building 
of the convent has also provided slabs for the 



TRAVELLING IN PORTUGAL 21 

mattresses, and at Braga, which considers itself 
to be the third town of Portugal, the beds are 
made of blocks of granite. Many a night will 
the traveller spend pondering over the 
Portuguese saying : — 

Tres horas dorme o santo, 
Cuatro ou cinco o que nao 6 tanto. 

(The saint sleeps hours three, 

And four or five they who less sainted be.) 

The inns are of many kinds, taberna, venda, 
estalagem> hospedaria. The estalagem (corre- 
sponding to the Spanish posada) often has a 
shop or venda opening at the back into the 
kitchen, and a court where the carreiros put up 
their carts and mules and donkeys. A steep 
stairway along a wall leads to one or more bare, 
clean, whitewashed rooms, with brick floor and 
a few cheap ornaments, which serve as the 
principal bedrooms, the carters sleeping on rugs 
or a mattress thrown upon the ground in the 
court below. 

But most villages have a hospedaria (the 
Spanish casa de huespedes), a little difficult to 
find since they have no sign-board, in order to 
avoid paying the hospedaria tax. The hospedaria 
generally has one or more permanent guests, 
paying about fifteen milreis a month, the village 
notary (iwtario or tabelliao) or perhaps an officer 
quartered in the village. They are whitewashed 
scrupulously outside and in, and are as bare as 



22 IN PORTUGAL 

the cstalagens, although in the smaller villages 
the walls of the dining-room will probably be 
covered with plates of hideous design be- 
tween many pictures, one of which is often a 
coloured portrait of Camoes. The upper storey 
is a succession of bedrooms opening one into 
the other in an inextricable maze, with a rough 
floor of red bricks, and completely bare except 
for a few sacred pictures, plain wooden chairs 
and nail-studded coffers. The price is about a 
milreis a day, a separate meal costing a cruzado. 1 
Not far from the dining-room is the kitchen, a 
large room with immense hearth or lareira ; a 
row of chairs is set beneath the chimney, and 
the chimneys (in Alemtejo) go up in their full 
breadth to the roof (hence the huge chimney- 
blocks on Alemtejan roofs). 

The meals are : almopo, at about ten o'clock 
in the morning, andjantar, at about five o'clock 
in the afternoon, hours not unreasonable in a 
hot climate, although at first they give an 



The chief coins are : — 




Copper 5 rets 




„ 10 ,, 




„ 20 „ 


{urn vintem — roughly one penny) 


Nickel 50 „ 


(ineia tostiio) 


„ 100 „ 


{uma tostdo) 


Silver 200 „ 




„ 500 „ 




„ 1000 „ 


(urn milreis). 



40 reix are called a pataco (twopence), 400 r/fis a cruzado, and a 
million m.v a conlu (a little over £200). 



TRAVELLING IN PORTUGAL 23 

impression of dining on the following day. The 
peasants, however, almopam early, jantani at 
midday and at dusk have a third meal, ceia, 
supper. The luncheon or breakfast, almopo, in 
Portugal ends with eggs, coming after fish and 
meat and immediately before the dessert, 
although this is contrary to the Roman tradition ; 
and after the jantar, chd (tea) is almost invariably 
drunk, usually without milk. The food is plain 
and good, not cooked in oil as at Spanish 
posadas. 1 But especially will the hungry 
traveller enjoy humble venda meals in remote 
regions, yellow maize-bread and black coffee, 
rice and bacalfiao, ovos cstrellados (" starred eggs," 
an excellent method half-way between frying and 
ceufs au plat), light white wine or red (vinho 
verde) or maduro, rye-bread and coarse pao de 
trigo. 

Some of the hotels in the small towns even 
have a "bath-room with hot and cold water," 
whether this is, as at Covilha, a kind of dark 
cupboard with just room for a bath, to which 
cantaros of hot and cold water are brought, or, 
as at Braganca, a shed in a cobbled yard. At 
Alcacer do Sal, Castello Branco and other 
small towns some of the rooms are perfectly 
airless, without windows, and almost pitch dark, 
opening one into another. In the hotel at 

1 To the Spanish peasant Portuguese food seems very insipid 
and of little nourishment, muy flaca. 



24 IN PORTUGAL 

Alcacer a man, asked how he could breathe 
(during a single night) in one of these rooms, 
made the surprising answer that it was " only 
for one month." 

Everywhere the traveller will find, in the 
unfrequented parts as well as in the large cities, 
ignorance supplemented by willingness and 
courtesy. The ignorance is great ; he will be 
asked if England is not Oporto, or if England is 
farther away than Lisbon ; or, if he wishes to 
know how to spell the name of some remote 
village and asks for it to be written down, he 
will be directed to the post-office, the casa do 
Correio, " for there they can write." The region 
of Algarve, with 250,000 inhabitants, has 200 
schools (and a single inspector) ; but Algarve is 
not the province where the proportion of those 
who cannot read or write is greatest. Probably 
Traz-os-Montes, Alemtejo and Beira Baixa are 
the provinces of least education, but the ignorance 
and backwardness of villages in Extremadura, 
not many leagues from Lisbon, is surprising. 

And the ignorance extends to agriculture ; 
the wide cornlands of Alemtejo are reaped with 
sickles by lines of thirty and forty men and 
women, and the corn is threshed by driving 
mules, oxen or donkeys through it, or by beating 
out the sheaves against a stone. The olives, 
too, are sometimes spoilt by being beaten down 
with sticks instead of being gathered by hand, 



TRAVELLING IN PORTUGAL 25 

md, if the owner of the olive-trees has no lagar 
(press), they are kept, till they can be pressed, in 
circles of stones (called tulhas). Often the pro- 
duce of the most fertile districts is thus diminished 
in value, but as a rule the peasants are intelligent 
and not unwilling to receive new ideas. To them 
the common phrase boa terra means not " good 
land " in the sense of fertile soil producing corn 
and wine and oil, but a town with tall houses, 
paved streets, and, if possible, a railway-station, 
while a remote village in however rich a soil is 
terra fraca, " weak land." 

An example of the greater facilities of every 
kind to be found in Portugal as compared with 
Spain, is seen in the public libraries. At Madrid 
Sefior Burell, when Minister of Education, 
v:"sited the Bihlioteca Naeional and came away 
with the remark that everything was so ordered 
there that those who went once had no inclina- 
tion to return. At the JBibUotheca Naeional of 
Lisbon, 1 on the contrary, books are supplied 
with quickness and intelligence, and as many at 
one time as one may wish. And generally 
throughout the country the circulation, whether 

1 As also at the libraries of Oporto and Coimbra. At Lisbon 
there is a Director with ten Assistants. The Government recently 
proposed that the Director should receive 900 milreis (under £200) a 
year, the six first-class Assistants 800, and the four second-class 
Assistants 4.50. At Evora the head librarian is to receive 200 
milreis a year and his Assistant 150. Thus it appears that the 
custom of underpaying librarians is not confined to England. 



26 IN TORTUGAL 

of ideas or of trade and commerce, is less fettered 
than in Spain, or impeded by indolence rather 
than by active obstacles. 

Yet Portugal is not a country in which it is 
pleasant to be in a hurry ; small as it is, with a 
population smaller than that of London, a day, 
and more than a day, is often required to go from 
one end to the other of a province, and Faro is 
over twelve hours' journey from Lisbon by the 
fastest train. But it is folly for a traveller in 
Portugal to hurry ; everywhere the exquisite 
scenery, the wonderful buildings, the pleasant 
hills and streams, woods and gardens of this 
"jardim da Europa a beira-mar plantado " lure 
him to spend his days in leisurely enjoyment — 
preguipando. 



CHAPTER III 

THE CHARM OF ALEMTE.TO 

terras Trastaganas 
Afamadas co'o dom da flava Ceres. — Camoer. 

(The lands beyond the Tagus, famous for the gift of golden 
Ceres.) 

A LEMTEJO is the largest province of 

/ m Portugal, and the most deserted, 

J V lying between the Tagus and the 

Serra do Caldelrdo. To a Portuguese 

it is merely ugly and desolate ; to the passing 

foreigner it is one of the most interesting regions 

ol Portugal, and perhaps not the least beautiful. 

The shepherds and peasants in their black 

woollen caps, thick brown sheepskins and 

ceifoes 1 ; the carros with pairs of mules yoked 

to the carts like oxen ; the villages of low 

houses with long massive chimneys as high as 

the houses ; the wide charnecas with limpas or 

clearings here and there ; the clumps and woods 

1 The ceifoes (from ceifa, harvest) are universally worn by the 
peasants throughout Alemtejo, and are even to be seen in the towns, as 
at Evora. They are of thick brown fleeces worn down the front of the 
leg, and tied round the leg above and below the knee with leathern 
straps and bright gold buttons. The plain smaller buttons on one 
pair of ceijoes were marked " Lisbon," and the larger ornamented 
ones " Paris." 

27 



28 IN PORTUGAL 

of sobreiros (cork-trees) and azinheiras? the 
cistus and more cistus, and the infinite variety 
and wealth of wild flowers — these are but a few 
of the attractions of Alemtejo. 

It is not a land of many fruits, in fact 
it produces little but corn ; it is still called the 
granary, cclleiro, of Portugal, although the 
production is now far less than it was in the time 
of the Romans. Yet Alemtejo, for all its 
barrenness, often has a thoroughly Theocritean 
air, as when to the singing of birds and cooing of 
doves in the woodland floats up, on a summer 
afternoon, the perpetual undertone of wild bees 
among the flowers, and the ground beneath the 
trees is studded with light-blue irises, and a soft 
wind sways the branches ; Alemtejo then, the 
dreary Alemtejo, recalls the verses of Diogo 
Bernardez (1520.1605) :— 

As douradas macans no mesmo galho, 
Doces e roxas uvas pela fria 
Colherei para ti, cheas d'orvalho. 

(The golden apples on their orchard hough, 
The sweet and reddening grapes at cool of day 
For you I'll gather, fresh and filled with dew.) 

or those of Camoes, equally idyllic : — 

O prado as flores brancas e vermelhas 
Estii suavemente presentando, 



1 Evergreen oaks — the Spanish encinas — under which, in late 
summer, for some weeks before St. Martin's Day, herds of swine 
are fattened, being penned at night in " malhadas." 



THE CHARM OF ALEMTEJO 29 

As doces e solicitas abelhas 

Com sussurro agradavel vao voando. 

(The meadow now of flowers red and white 

Decks itself with fresh carpet, softly fair, 
And the sweet active bees' unceasing flight 
With a deep pleasant murmur fills the air.) 

The colours worn by the peasants in the 
lonely farms are mostly brown and black, colour 
of earth, but in the villages round Elvas and 
elsewhere the dress both of men and women is 
of a brightness to be seen scarcely in any other 
part of Portugal. The reds and yellows and 
golds are of extraordinary brilliance, the shawls 
or kerchiefs all of one simple colour, without a 
pattern. The women wear long gold earrings, 
and the men carry umbrellas (guardachuvas) of 
incredible size, faded blue or squashed mulberry 
cclour. A girl with yellow flowing kerchief and 
red shawl passes on a donkey, a man in pink 
shirt and scarlet sash walking at the side ; but 
" pink " and " yellow " give but little idea of the 
vivid brilliance of the colours, and almost as 
a relief comes a small mule-cart, entirely covered 
by an umbrella of weather-worn dark-blue. To 
the village of Borba, up the road between olives, 
returns at evening, on foot and on donkeys, a pro- 
cession of men and women coming from their work 
in the distant fields. The wide black hats (chapeos 
desabados) raised at the brim, like a tray or huge 
saucer, the alforges l and brown-red bilhas, the 

1 Span, alforjas, saddle-bags. 



30 IN PORTUGAL 

thin gleaming sickles, the bright reds, greens, 
bines and yellows make a wonderfully quaint 
and picturesque sight ; the brilliant colour of the 
women's dresses give a look of well-being, yet 
the wages of these women are extremely small, 
and even in the days of June, after a long week's 
work from dawn to dusk — some eighty hours — 
they receive on Saturdays the sum of six shillings 
(twelve vintens a day). 

Borba is a quiet white village with some two 
thousand inhabitants and nine churches. The 
fame of its wine extends at least as far as Villa 
Vicosa, where " bom vinho de Borba " is for sale. 
The Largo da Matriz, cool under acacias, slopes 
down to another wide, tree-planted square, or 
largo, with a large chafariz (fountain) of yellow 
stone. The road goes between olives crowded 
with goldfinches, and through vineyards and a 
few cornfields to Villa Vicosa, with its large 
barracks and many yellow-washed houses and 
wide Prapa da Republica of white and grey 
cobbles ; Villa Vicosa where, if the proverb says 
true, the women do little work — 

Villa Vicosa 
Mulher preguicosa. 

The entrances of the vineyards are tall white- 
washed gateways rising to a point, with a little 
image of the Virgin in azidejos above the 
gate. 



THE CHARM OF ALEMTEJO 31 

The houses of the villages on the road from 
Villa Vicosa to Redondo are low and often 
windowless, the chimneys great broad blocks 
many feet high, whitewashed as spotlessly as are 
the walls of the houses. Sometimes all the 
women of a village wear gold-coloured kerchiefs, 
red and yellow being apparently banished ; here 
and there beneath the olives the ground is purple 
with thistles, or dotted with tall irises of faintest 
blue. A man passes dressed in light blue with 
wide black hat driving donkeys laden with large 
red bilhas de agua, earthenware waterjars, selling 
at two or three vintens apiece. A woman passes, 
a sack of potatoes on her head over a golden 
kerchief, wearing an orange-brown shawl, blue 
skirt and scarlet apron, and followed by a 
small boy carrying alforges over his shoulder, 
their cncharcas x a bright patchwork of many 
colours. Often tiny boys wear the huge 
desabado hat and look like giant black mush- 
rooms. 

Torrao, on another side of Alemtejo near the 
border of Extremadura, is a little village of low 
houses and sharply cobbled streets, with gutters 
and no pavements at the sides. Along the 
white six-foot high walls of the houses, at 
evening, children play, dressed in many colours 
— chiefly dull greens, reds, blues and browns. 
Mules and donkeys rattle home over the 

1 Name given to the pockets of the saddle-bags. 



32 IN PORTUGAL 

cobbles, and here a woman with gold kerchief 
and dark-brown bil/ia, there a girl in pink, with 
bllha of deep red, comes up the steep cobbled 
streets from the fountain. 



CHAPTER IV 

CHARNECAS OF ALEMTEJO 

Que Alemtejo era enxuto 
D'agua e mui seco de prado. 
Toda a terra foi perdida, 
No campo do Tejo so 
Achava o gado guarida ; 
Ver Alemtejo era um do* ! 

JBernardim Ribeiro (1482-1552). 

(For Alemtejo was parched and dry and all its land was waste ; 
only in the plains of the Tagus might the herds find shelter ; Alemtejo 
was a grievous sight.) 

MANY of the roads of Alemtejo cut 
through deliriously scented wilder- 
nesses of cistus, without a tree, but 
with many birds and flowers ; vetch, 
thick-tufted purple lavender, bugloss, hibiscus, 
the white, round flower of cistus with its dark red 
spot on each petal, other similar, but unspotted, 
cistus flowers (the size of wild roses) of white 
and yellow and glowing pink, pinks, harebells, 
campionflowers, foxgloves, tall branched aspho- 
dels, and a hundred more. The road from Elvas 
to Borba already passes through tracts of the 
dark glistening leaves of cistus, x and the wind 
blows its strong, heavy scent of escalonia across 
the road and over little limpets of corn, so that it 
would seem as if the bread must be all scented 

1 Cistus ladaniferus. 

33 D 



34 IN PORTUGAL 

with cistus. Or the road is bordered by tall 
eucalyptus trees, and the hanging bark makes a 
weird flapping against their bare trunks ; or on 
one side lie tracts of corn without hedge or division, 
while on the other are wide meadow- valleys, or, 
rather, sloping wasteland, entirely covered with 
thistles in flower. The faint purple of their small 
flowers thus seen in an endless mass is one of the 
most beautiful sights in Alemtejo, and, indeed, 
in Portugal ; for they cover the slopes and, 
continuing without a break beneath a distant 
wood of azinkeiras (beyond which is a line of 
clear, blue mountains), make the ground between 
the trees a sea of faintest purple. 

And around Iiedondo are more chaimecas, 1 
and the Serra do Osso is a soft dull red and 
brown and green. 2 So from Beja to Ferreira 
do Alemtejo and on to Alcacer do Sal the road 
passes high between wide moors of rocks and 
cistus and other shrubs. Some of the shrub- 
covered hills have a small windmill on the top 
for grinding corn, but tracts of corn are 
comparatively few, and the charnecas stretch 
cistus-scented, dull or shrill yellow-green and 
brown and grey (a deep brown where the matto 

1 The word charneca is peculiar to Alemtejo and means a wide 
uncultivated tract of matto, or brushwood (chiefly cistus) which the 
peasants cut for firing-. It occurs as early as the XVth Century (in 
Leal Conselheiro, c. 1430). 

a Borrow's Serra Dorno, " the most beautiful mountain in the 
Alemtejo." 



CHARNECAS OF ALEMTEJO 35 

has been cut for fuel), to faint blue distances. 
A few azinheiras are the only things outstanding 
in the desolate \ undulating country, without a 
single hut or house for many miles. Constantly 
beautiful are the views on either side ; cistus and 
whin and thick-flowering myrtle invade the road, 
and shrub-covered ravines lie below it to right 
and left. Presently tufts of pine and some thick 
pinewoods in a sandy soil covered with flowers, 
blue and yellow and glowing pink, tell that 
Alemtejo is merging into Extremadura. 

But especially to walk from Evora across 
country to Vianna do Alemtejo in summer gives 
a good idea of the wealth of flowers and of the 
desolation and subtle charm of the charneeas of 
Alemtejo. Some kilometres from Evora a few 
rocks and azinheiras border the ill-defined path 
that grows ever more indefinite, now skirting 
corkwoods, now losing itself in a thick treeless 
waste of flowers and long grass. The country 
all around is white, pink and yellow, blue and 
purple with flowers. Sometimes it is all a thick 
carpet of lavender of deepest purple, tracts of 
purple stretching away to brown and on to faint 
blue lines of low hills. Or wide spaces are entirely 
yellow with crowsfoot, whin and many hawks- 
weeds and daisies, or a faint purple with thistles, 
or blue with scabious and cornflowers and hare- 
bells. And magnificent zones of bugloss mark 
the apparently endless unbroken plain with a 



30 IN PORTUGAL 

deep blue-purple. Flowers less massed and con- 
tinuous than these sometimes combine to strew 
the ground beneath a wood of tufted pines with 
a variety of white and yellow, pink and blue. 

Elsewhere the sky of clearest turquoise, with 
snow-white clouds, appears through the branches 
of a corkwood, beneath which grow asphodels 
five and six and seven feet high. The cuckoo is 
a wandering voice turning the air mysteriously to 
a faint music, doves coo softly in the soft dreami- 
ness of an Alemtejan afternoon, beetles drone 
heavily beneath the trees, and overhead fly storks 
so high in air that they seem to be smaller than 
sea-gulls, or sweep lazily nearer the earth. 

Or in a bronzen sunrise across the plain 
there is no sound but the tinkling of bells, tintin 
sonando con si dolce nota, as the brown long-horned 
cattle graze in the dew-drenched grass — 

O gado pace 
Eutre as humidas liervas socegado. 

Later, in the full burning light of the sun, comes 
the perpetual undertone of small invisible bees, 1 
crickets chirp, the bells of a huge distant flock of 
brown sheep or of cattle sound intermittently, 
and, hidden in the grass, or, rather, hidden in 
flowers, " small fowles maken melodye." And this 
is desolate Alemtejo, 2 which Portuguese friends 

1 Thousands of arrobas of honey are sent every year from 
Alemtejo. 

1 The poet Guerra Junqueiro uses the metaphor "pelas charnecas 



CHARNECAS OF ALEMTEJO 37 

will bid you leave unvisited. Certainly it is 
desolate, often far and near no house is to be seen, 
scarcely a sign of human life. It is but very 
occasionally that one comes to a farm, great 
groups of low buildings and long cattle-sheds, 
often with a peacock or a stork perched on the 
wall ; the farmer, short and full-bearded, in brown 
sheepskin and black woollen gorro, stands before 
the door smoking a small wooden pipe, cachimbo. 
Or rows of thirty men and more are seen reaping 
a wide interval of corn without hedge or fence ; 
or a peasant's pointed gorro and heavy sheepskin 
appear above the deep sides of his mule-cart l as 
he drives slowly along one of the many paths of 
the charneca. 

\ r ianna do Alemtejo is a village lying along 
a high hill of corktrees and azinheiras, and its 
white houses from a distance look like a fading 
streak of snow on the hill side. A path under 
azinheiras leads towards it bordered by cool 
mallows, campanulas, chicory and the glowing 
pink flower of cistus. Three or four kilometres 
of shadeless road separate the village from its 
railway station. An old man creeps in the sun, 

do tedio — through the chamecas of Ennui," as though Alemtejo 
were a land of grey monotony. 

1 These carts are lighter, but the ordinary two-mule carro of 
Alemtejo is a slow, heavy waggon. The mules pull like oxen, with 
the same movement of the hind legs, being yoked, not harnessed. 
The jolting, even on a smooth road, is terrible, but the sturdy thick- 
bearded peasants sit placidly in front or stand against the poles that 
run along the sides. 



38 IN PORTUGAL 

driving his goats by hurling his crooked stick now 
to the one side of them, now to the other. 
Beautiful huge green lizards rustle by the side 
of the road, the only things that seem to enjoy 
the cruel sunshine, and a cant&oneiro is at work, 
his red bilha set in a bush of whin, the only 
shelter, in the vain hope of keeping the water 
cool. At a tiny venda near the station a little 
woman, with coarse wrinkled face and a man's 
felt hat over her grey dishevelled hair and long 
gold earrings, is busy behind her counter dealing 
out copas of red wine or brandy or cigarros and 
charutos to peasants and farmers ; or, her arms 
resting leisurely on the counter and chin on 
hands, with many a grim chuckle retails the 
gossip of the newspapers to her clients. Here is 
the beginning of ' civilization ' ; a few miles away 
in scent of flowers and song of birds stretches 
the ' dreary ' wasteland, the uncivilized plains 
and desolate open spaces of Alemtejo. 



CHAPTER V 

AN EARLY MOENING DRIVE 

Findara a orgia. Pela azul da esphera 
Vae sorrindo ds montanhas pensativas 
O esplendido luar da primavera. 

— GlTERRA JCNQUEIRO. 

(The revel now was o'er. Through azure sky 
With smiles upon the dreaming mountain-tops 
The clear moonlight of Spring fell splendidly.) 

THE wind blows heavily scented with 
cistus across the road that leads from 
Villa Vicosa to Redondo and across 
fields and moors thickly overgrown 
with flowers white and yellow, pink and blue 
and purple. In the cloudless summer evenings 
the sky fades from its turquoise to soft grey, a 
clear light green lingering along the West. 
Redondo is a little village of low houses among 
olive-trees. Two 'nocturnal guards' patrol its 
streets wearing long cloaks ; they carry pistols, 
and the horns slung over their shoulder give 
them the appearance of herdsmen. On these 
horns they tell the hours. Midnight for them is 
a comically arduous matter, whereas they can 
blow one o'clock with dignity and ease. Many 
villages in Portugal have no night-watchmen, 
and Redondo is not really large enough to need 

39 



40 IN PORTUGAL 

them ; but they take their duties very seriously 
and perform various small services, such as 
awakening those of the inhabitants who wish to 
go early about their work. 

The guards had scarcely blown the hour of 
two upon their horns when the carro de correio 
(post-car) drew up with jingling bells at the post- 
office. From further down the long village 
street came a sound of minstrelsy. For they 
had been celebrating the day of Saint Anthony 
of Padua, a Portuguese by birth, and in a tiny 
cornershop, looking on to a little moonlit pi'apa 
of trees, eight or nine of the most persistent still 
lingered round the poet and musician of the 
village. Handsome and intensely pale, with 
long hair and tired sunken eyes, the poet, clearly, 
was considered a deeply romantic figure in his 
great-coat lined with fur, open to display his 
patched trousers of blue cloth. He drew the 
bow slowly across the strings of his violin as he 
drank alternately cold water and hot black coffee. 
They were all listless and melancholy, sitting on 
the benches round the shop, the door of which 
stood wide open, while the little blue-eyed 
shopkeeper and his wife stood apparently happy 
and unwearied behind the counter, pouring out 
coffee at a vintem the cup. One of the company 
was a soldier, another had a viola, another a 
flute; the only drinks of these revellers in music 
and words and saudadc were coffee and water. 



AN EARLY MORNING DRIVE 41 

A few minutes after the watchmen had blown 
two o'clock the poet rose : " Pols, scnhores, jd 
sdo as ducts horas — Well, gentlemen, it has struck 
two " ; but before he reached the door into the 
clear moonlight he was intercepted by eager 
hands imploring him for one more tune. So 
the violin came again languidly from its case and 
the melancholy strains of the Portugueza sounded 
through the village, played on the violin to the 
accompaniment of the viola. 

But the carro cle correio for Evora, a light 
carriage drawn by two mules, drove up and 
Saint Anthony's devotees were left to their last 
mournful orgies of music and moonlight and 
excellent black coffee. At three o'clock the 
carro stopped at a farm to receive a basket of 
oranges. It was a cool scented morning of June 
and, although the moon still shone brightly, the 
Eastern sky, seen through dark azinkeiras, 
already had the brown-red colour of earthenware 
bilhas, as if the earth had tinged it, fringing off to 
orange, gold and grey. The magnificent euca- 
lyptus trees along the road were outlined against 
the sky, not a leaf stirring, like immense ostrich 
plumes or trees painted by Watteau. The low 
line of the Serra do Osso was a clear blue, and 
only a slight ground mist lay across the flowery 
waste spaces and grey meadows. On a hill 
surrounded by valleys of azinkeiras a tall peasant, 
with thin white hook-nosed lace, stood waiting 



42 IN PORTUGAL 

patient and motionless with a letter for the 
caixa that hangs at the side of the carro. His 
cloak, like the driver's, was of manufactured 
wool, the colour of sackcloth, and reaching to 
the feet ; huge tamancos (sabots) and a long 
black woollen gorro being the only other parts 
of his dress visible. A few minutes after this 
silent peasant had disappeared between the 
hedges of a narrow path a mist swept everything 
from view, sudden as the mists that hide Gibraltar 
from Algeciras still in sunshine, and of a passing 
steamer leave but a black line of trailed smoke. 
The eucalyptus trees bordering the road could 
now be seen very faintly, grey against grey ; 
carts and donkeys and men going to their work 
appeared for a moment from the mist, and 
hidden men could be heard cutting grass in the 
fields. 

The little village of Sao Migoel de Machende 
was still at half-past four o'clock half hidden in 
mist on its hill. It has a little prapa with 
small church and tiny loja do povo, whose super- 
scription declares that it is licensed (habilitado) to 
sell tabacos (as is nearly every shop in Portugal) 
fazendas, mercearias e diffei'cntes cwtigos. Equally 
low and small are the shops of wine and bread, 
vinhos, padarias, and the principal street is of 
windowless whitewashed houses, the roofs often 
not over seven feet from the ground, with an 
additional seven feet of chimney. Men dressed 



AN EARLY MORNING DRIVE 43 

in fleeces of different browns sewn together 
(surrao, surroes), and carts drawn by brown wide- 
horned oxen passed in the thinning mist. 
Through a country of azinheiras and whin and 
asphodels and broom, and then through a treeless 
expanse of charnecas and great tracts of corn, the 
way lies to Evora ; the roadside is sometimes 
purple with bugloss or has, more thinly sprinkled, 
great thistles in flower and tall light blue irises. 
It was seven o'clock before the mist had entirely 
cleared and the towers of Evora were seen, distinct 
against a sky of soft light blue, from across a wide 
plain of corn with lines of trees, not unlike 
parts of Essex. 



CHAPTER VI 

THE CITV OF EVORA 

A grande dor das cousas que passaram. — Camoes. 
(Great sorrow for the things that were.) 

Jl rimembrar delle passate cose. — Leopardi. 
(Remembrance of past things.) 

EVORA, entered by the steep Rua dc 
Machende, straightway establishes a 
claim to be considered one of the most 
quaint and characteristic towns of 
Portugal. 1 Little cobbled travessas go off to 
right and left of the street, with curious ancient 
names : Rua da Cozinha dc Sua Alteza, the 
Street of His Highness' Kitchen ; Travessa 
das Gatas, the Passage of Cats ; Travessa do 
JJiabi?iho, the Passage of the Little Devil, etc. 

The interior of the twelfth- century Cathedral 
is very light and has, superficially, a recent look, 
owing to the lines of whitewashed mortar at 
regular intervals. The capitals of its pillars are 

1 Nor does its beauty and interest end with the walls of the 
town. A few leagues away is the convent of Valverde, and 
Montemoro, of which Borrow wrote some of his most charac- 
teristic pages. Nearer Evora the sedge-choked tributaries of the 
Guadiana have an air of Oxford backwaters, and the country 
immediately below the walls is green and peaceful. At the little 
white railway station nothing seems to happen, although an employe 
blows a horn from time to time. 

44 



THE CITY OF EVORA 45 

simple but are worth long study owing to their 
beautifully sculptured leaves and doves, etc., the 
bunches of grapes and vineleaves being especially 
beautiful. To the right a locked door leads to 
the fair-pillared cloister round a neglected garden 
of lemons and gold-fruited medlar-trees and 
cactus, growing at random, the door from the 
cloister into the garden being also locked. 
A winding staircase of worn granite goes up to 
the tower of the Cathedral. Clothes hang dry- 
ing and vegetables are being washed on the long- 
roof of the aisle. The view is wide and beau- 
tiful, of white Evora below and of the brown 
plain stretching away to a blue-purple distance. 
Close to the Cathedral in the same p?*apa is 
a ruined Roman temple of a ten centuries earlier 
date ; " god by god goes out discrowned and 
disanointed." It is popularly called the Temple 
of Diana, and a street going steeply down along 
white walls, over which appear the tops of trees, 
and out to the plain round Evora is called Rua 
Occidental de Diana, The mighty pillars of the 
ruined temple, to whatever god or goddess it 
was sacred, are in themselves fit objects of 
worship, as they stand against the blue sky, 
supporting huge blocks of granite overgrown 
with yellow lichen. Twelve pillars remain, 
supporting fifteen and a half blocks, the blocks 
being double at the two corners that are left ; two 
more pillars stand decapitated, and of a fifteenth 



4G IN PORTUGAL 

the base alone remains. 1 Lizards dart along 
the bases of the pillars and swallows circle in and 
out of the capitals, while above doves sweep 
slowly across the cloudless sky. 

The principal square of Evora is the long 
Prapa de Giraldo? with shops and cafes and white 
arcades and a high chafariz of yellow marble 
from the mouths of which great tin cantaros 
are filled through rods of bamboo. A street of 
little shops under arcades goes down to the 
Igreja de Sao Francisco, with its great Manueline 
front and its " Chapel of bones," of which the 
grim inscription is : — 

Nris ossos que aqui estamos 
Pelos vossos esperamos. 

(We bones here wait 
Your bones to greet.) 

From the square of cool trees in front of Sao 
Francisco the layer on layer of the white walls of 



,© 

Dccafiilakd Prfhvs < 

Saseon/y © 

2 Geraldo, or Giraldo, was formerly a very common name in 
Portugal ; the surname Geraldez, or Giraldez, (Fitz Gerald) still 
exists. 



THE CITY OF EVORA 47 

Evora's houses are seen going up to the blue sky ; 
some of the houses have little hanging gardens 
and iron-balustraded terraces. The best view of 
the Se is from farther out, near the Igreja de Sao 
Braz in its narrow garden of hollyhocks, from 
where it is seen clear above storey over storey 
of brown roofs. 

Evora seems ever to have at hand some cool 
shady refuge from the sun's heat. The fairest 
of these retreats is the public garden at the foot 
of the town, most beautifully kept, not only in 
rigid plots of begonias and magnificent carna- 
tions, but with an ordered disarray of foxgloves, 
snapdragons, arum lilies, roses, hollyhocks and a 
great round mass of sweet peas. It surrounds 
the old Pafos de Dom Manoel, part of which is 
now a Museu da Agricultural and ends in a 
terrace formed by the city walls. The Pacos in 
their ruins, however artificial, are of an exquisite 
beauty, a magic of white marble arches, round or 
broken, and capitals of slender pillars ; steps lead 
up to a square tower, and all is overgrown with 
ivy, some of the delicately sculptured capitals 
of white marble being completely hidden in 
thickest ivy. Not far away, in the Largo da 
G-raca, is the curious and beautiful ruined Church 
of N'ossa Scnhora da Gra$a, perhaps more beauti- 
ful in detail than as a whole. The front of the 
Church is very solid and fine with its huge 
granite pillars. To the right the old convent is 



48 IN PORTUGAL 

now a quartel, with a roof of brown tiles and 
rough balustrade and a two-storeyed cloister of 
pillars supporting blocks of granite. 

But, indeed, the ancient buildings of Evora 
are so numerous and so full of interest and 
beauty that it has even been called the Toledo 
of Portugal. In general effect, in its softness 
of outline in spite of the intense light, its open 
spaces, little shaded gardens, cool prapas and 
clean-swept travessas, and in its quiet and 
industrious life, Evora is totally unlike Toledo, 
with which it has in common crumbling walls 
and ancient ruins and steep, narrow streets. 
The houses are of a whiteness immaculate yet 
not glaring, with just sufficient pink or blue or 
yellow to make a relief; or they are built 
massively of granite, with green shutters ; the 
shops are mostly tiny. 

In a summer sunset the plain round Evora is 
all a glory of brown and purple, with a few 
groups of snow-white farms, monies and eredades, 
and low lines of blue hills on the red-brown 
horizon. In the town swallows circle across the 
light green of the sky and houses of brown-tiled, 
yellow-lichened roofs glow a soft white. A 
scarcely perceptible wind moves in the little green 
squares of trees, and gardens hemmed in by 
houses. From the Se the bells ring out over the 
city and to the fields beyond in their call to 
evening Orciffio, and a deep silence follows, 



THE CITY OF EVORA 49 

broken only by voices of children and the twitter- 
ing of sparrows, * and a peace falls upon roof and 
tower, upon buildings three and four and eight 
and eighteen centuries old. After sunset the 
whitewashed walls and arches and pillars, towers 
and turrets, domes and chimneys, stand out the 
more clearly, like sails of fishing-boats in a 
Mediterranean afterglow, while darkly above 
the city the Roman temple looks across to 
the pastures and cornlands and charnecas of 
Alemtejo. 

1 Guerra Junqueiro has a Hue " Gay as June troops of sparrows 
Alegres como em Junho os bandos dos pardaes.'' 



The Portuguese word for sparrow is pardal — the little browu 
(pardo) bird of St. Francis. 



E 



CHAPTER VII 

THE CITY OF BEJA 

Recuerdate, Portugal, 

Cuanto Dios te tiene x honradOj 
Didte las tierras del sol 

Por comercio d, tu man dado, 
Los jardines de la tierra 

Tienes J bien senoreado, 
Los pomares de Oriente 

Te dan su fruto preciado, 
Sus paraisos terrenales 

Cerraste con tu candado, 
Loa al que te did la Have 

De lo mejor que ha criado, 
Todalas islas inotas 

A ti solo lia revelado. 

— Gil Vicente, Triumpho do lnverno. 

(Remember, Portugal, how God has honoured thee, how He gave 
thee the lands of the sun to traffic with at will. The gardens of the 
Earth are in thy hand, the orchards of the East yield thee their 
noble fruit, and its earthly paradises thou hast walled in for thy use. 
Praise Him who gave thee the key of the best of His creation, and 
all the unknown isles to thee only has revealed.) 

PERHAPS the best advice to those about to 
go to Beja, the second city of Alemtejo, 
is Don't. From far across the plain it 
looks beautiful, a mass of grey and 
white with only one outstanding tower, the fine 
old Torre de Menagem. And the town is 

1 Here the Portuguese pierces through the poet's Spanish. 

50 



THE CITY OF BEJA 51 

picturesque enough in its crumbling walls over- 
grown with plants, fig-trees and aloes, and its 
narrow and roughly-cobbled steep ?~uas and 
travessas up which girls in bright red carry 
graceful dark-brown bilhas and donkeys go laden 
with panniers of water jars, as at Toledo, or 
drawing carts with holes for two dozen jars. 
The Torre de Menagem is magnificent ; the 
Igreja da Conceifdo has beautiful details of 
carved capitals, each of different design. But 
after Evora Beja fails to charm. There are 
few trees to give shelter from its terrible 
summer heat. It has a much greyer and 
browner look than Evora, with scarcely any of 
its houses cleanly whitewashed ; the walls show 
greyly through the wash and everywhere is 
dinginess and squalor and apparent neglect. 
The best hotel is but carelessly managed, being 
not only primitive but sordid. A hot wind 
sweeps clouds of dust up the streets, in which 
are heaps of dirt and paper and refuse on every 
side, with dogs and cats and children in the 
midst. The little shops are black with flies, 
and flies cover the faces of neglected babies. 
The houses in the poorer streets, such as the 
Rua das Ferrarias, are of extreme misery, 
food and fuel, children and rubbish mingling 
in a close proximity to the rubbish of the 
street. 

The very thought that anyone should sweep 



52 IN PORTUGAL 

these streets on a summer's day is cruelty, but 
perhaps the task might be accomplished in the 
cooler hours of early dawn. Meanwhile the dirt 
of the streets invades the principal or only room 
of the poorer houses, which in turn hurl fresh 
rubbish into the street ; children in rags or no rags 
play in the dust and refuse ; the whining ladainha 
of beggars, all dirt and tatters, is heard in the 
streets ; and the effect produced by the town 
in summer is that it is being baked in rubbish. 
It is better to admire the picturesque water- 
carriers of Beja than to drink the water ; and no 
fruit is to be had, there are not even any fruit- 
shops in existence. And it is not very easy to 
leave the city of Beja, since, although it is on the 
main line, the only line from Lisbon to Algarve, 
the trains run but at wide intervals ; the waiting- 
room and restaurant of the station are kept 
closed for hour after hour between the trains, and 
no newspapers are sold. 

But if Beja, picturesque but unattractive, 
sends the visitor headlong to its railway-station, 
the plain surrounding it is beautiful. At sunset 
it stretches away brown to the glowing sky, and, 
about the time of the ringing of the evening 
angelus, when the purple has faded from the 
horizon and only the last gold of a cloudless sun- 
set remains, the towers of Beja stand out clearly 
on a sky of faintest green, swallows circle round 
the yellow-lichened Torre de Menagem, and the 



THE CITY OF BEJA 53 

sails of the windmills * turn swiftly in the 
evening wind. Then the town, which seemed 
sufficiently full by day, receives a procession of 
labourers from the plain, sunburnt sicklemen 
wearily climbing the hill at the end of their 
homeward tramp ; and goats, sheep and a few 
cows are driven in. 

1 These little mill-towers, round and white, with their pointed 
roofs of tiles or thatch and their swivel-shaped arrangement of four 
sails, are very frequent, perched on the top9 of hills, especially in 
Alemtejo and Extremadura. 



CHAPTER VIII 

IN ALGARVE 

No horisonte nao se veem senao os topos pardo-azulados das 
serras do Algarve. — Herculano, Lendas e Narrativas. 

(On the horizon nothing is to be seen but the brown-blue hill-tops 
of the serras of Algarve.) 

Jardim da Europa, & beira-mar plantado, 

De loiros e de acacias olorosas, 
De fontes e de arroios serpeado, 

Rasgado por torrentes alterosas ; 
Onde num cerro erguido e requeimado 

Se casam em festoes jasmins e rosas ; 
Balsa virente de eternal magia 
Onde as aves gorgeiam noite e dia. 

—Thomas Ribeiro (1831-1901), A Portugal 

(Garden of Europe, planted by the sea, 
With, amid springs and streams' meandering flow, 

The scent of laurel and acacia-tree, 

And rush of mountain-torrents dashed below, 

Jessamine and roses inextricably 

High in thy sun-kissed hills at random grow ; 

Fountain of magic ever freshly springing, 

Where still in night- and day-time birds are singing.) 

A POPULAR cantiga says that— 

/ ^^ ( ) Algarve 6 pae do figo, 

/ %^ and, in fact, the terra dos Algarves, 

as Camoes calls it, is the land of the 

fig and the carob, figueiras and alfarrobeiras. 

Miles on miles of fig-trees 1 may there be seen, 

1 An old chronicle relates that certain Portuguese knights being 
treacherously attacked by the Moors as they were hunting in 

54 



* 



IN ALGARVE 55 

in this land of large holdings, trailing over the 
ground or arranged in orderly rows. One estate 
alone can produce 12,000 arrobas of figs in a 
year. 1 The soil is the red colour of bUhas,* 
with hedges of aloes {pitas), their tall flowers 
scarcely to be distinguished at some distance 
from telegraph posts ; which, however unpoetical, 
is a true likeness, a line of aloe-flowers, as seen 
near Portimao or near Beja in Alemtejo, 
growing at regular intervals and all of a height. 
Fruit-trees are everywhere: medlars {nesperos), 
pomegranates (romanzeiras), peach-trees (pece- 
guevros), almonds (amendoeiras), olives (oliveiras), 
and especially figs and carobs, with intervals of 
palm and corn and vine, 3 and stretches of grey- 
blue rock, and whole pinewoods or tall single 
Dines. The hills, sometimes topped by windmills, 
are dotted with white houses and little villages 
straggling among fruit-trees ; all the houses are 
whitewashed, and have strange tiny round white- 
washed chimneys like tips of aloe-flowers. 

Algarve, or the Algarves, has always been 
a region apart. The Kings of Portugal were 
styled ' Kings of Portugal and of the Algarves ' ; 
and the Moors have left the trace of their long 

Algarve c ' quickly built themselves a shelter with branches of fig- 
trees." 

1 Selling at about a rmireis the arroba. The arroba is 25 lb. 

2 Those seen so frequently farther north ; at Faro the water is 
often carried in large two-handled pails. 

3 The Perola grape of Algarve is celebrated. 



56 IN PORTUGAL 

predominance in the very name of the province 
as well as in the names Alfaro, Tunes, etc. The 
algarvios, talkative, pleasant, gay, with some- 
thing of the fascination of the andaluz character, 1 
are less reserved and more sceptical than the 
inhabitants of the northern provinces. "They 
live careless, after the manner of the Zidonians, 
quiet and secure." 

The capital, Faro, Alfaro, or Santa Maria de 
Faro, captured from the Moors in 1249, is one 
of the most delightful towns in Portugal. A 
long street of faint blue, green, pink, yellow and 
whitewashed houses faces a little glassily calm 
inner harbour of the colour of faintest turquoise, 
the green plants of a steep bank reflected along 
its edge, with fishing-boats painted red and blue 
and green, and larger sailing-boats laden or load- 
ing with cork. Beyond, across a wide brown 
stretch of flat land, may be seen sails moving, 
and little houses as white as the sails. On the 
other side of the inner harbour lies a prapa of 
palms and magnificently tall hollyhocks, pink 
and red. Over the whole place is the true smell 
of the sea, which the Mediterranean never has ; 
yet the palms and flowers grow along the water's 
edge. To one side is a little crowded market- 
place of meat, fruit and vegetables. The women 

1 In Algarve knife-quarrels are far rarer than in Andalucia. 
The indolence of the algarvio is perhaps as great as that of the 
andaluz, but it is a more peaceful indolence. 



IN ALGARVE 57 

nearly all wear long shawls and small black 
saucer-shaped hats over their kerchiefs of green 
or red or black, or of plain gold or of large- 
flowered patterns on a white ground. At the 
end of the prapa is the fishmarket, where 
all kinds of fish, huge and tiny, and lobsters 
and oysters and cockles, crabs and eels are 
sorted and sold, boats continually coming in 
laden to the small quay at the side of the 
beautiful pra$a of flowers and palms. 

In early morning cows with their calves are 
driven along the narrow streets on all sides : 
the milk is dear, but one old man who earns a 
milreis a day from the milk he sells in his 
morning rounds said plaintively that his cow 
costs him six tostocs a day to keep, so that it 
cnly brings him a clear cruzado daily. 

Early in the morning, too, at half-past five 
in summer, takes place the distribution of the 
" Bishop's alms — a esmola do Bisjjo." Narrow 
streets lead up to the pra^a in which is the 
tiny ancient Cathedral, all whitewashed except 
in its magnificent low square tower, with an 
entrance-arch of exquisitely sculptured capitals. 
Opposite the Se across the pra^a is the Bishop's 
' palace,' a long low whitewashed building, and 
here at the door, above the wide flight of steps, 
a priest on Saturdays distributes alms on behalf 
of the Bishop of the Algarves. At least two 
hundred men and women were assembled, not 



58 IN PORTUGAL 

only the old, halt, blind and feeble, but a consider- 
able smattering of the young and able-bodied, 
eager to receive the weekly dole, dez rSis for each, 
the alms being given indiscriminately. It would 
be much more difficult to distribute food and 
clothing according to individual needs ; it is 
far simpler and more picturesque to give a 
halfpenny to all who come, the Roman Church 
showing here as ever its keen eye for a dramatic 
effect. The scene was indeed worthy of 
Murillo's brush — the pale-faced priest in black, 
and, below, the flight of steps covered from top 
to bottom with women in long shawls of dull 
greens and browns and purples, orange, red or 
blue, and with men in grey or brown carrying 
every imaginable shape of crutch and crooked 
staff. The scene — long may it continue — is 
perhaps less worthy of the twentieth century, 
and the praccts latest name, Praoa de Candido 
dos Reis, posted up all new and shining a few 
yards away, adds a delightful note of irony. The 
recipients of the dez reis went off in all directions 
to beg from door to door ; it was evident that 
this was for them the beginning of a crowded 
day, and many of them walked away smartly 
with a business-like air. 

Below, the town's life was becoming ever 
more active, long wooden trays of loaves were 
carried into the covered market, the cafes were 
beginning to open, and carts of single oxen 



IN ALGARVE 59 

brought water in great barrels for the flowers of 
the Prafa by the sea. The houses of Faro are 
mostly low with flat roofs or roofs of tiles, some 
of the flat roofs being bordered with vines 
and carnations. Mule-carts and innumerable 
donkeys (every peasant in Algarve having his 
donkey) pass along the market, and bright 
colours mingle with grey and brown and rags. 

Faro has a cool wind from the sea, but the 
dusty road that goes to Villanova de Portimao 
passes in breathless heat along glaring white 
walls and houses. Fortunately there is also 
a railway, the one railway of the South of 
Portugal, coming down from Beja and branch- 
ing East and West along the coast. In the 
train a placid little merchant was confessing his 
political opinions : — 

" I say and have always said that it is 
necessary trabalhar para a salvapao dapatria" 

" How do you propose to ' work for the 
salvation of the country ' ? " 

" Well, the country is in a bad way ; and — it 
is necessary trabalhar para a salvapao dapatria" 

As he referred to " meus correligionarios " 
there are, no doubt, others who share his creed. 
Portimao is one of Algarve's pleasant towns and 
fishing-villages along the coast, such as Lagos, 
Olhao, Albufeira, Villa Real de Santo Antonio. 
A swift carrinha l goes in under half an hour 

1 The carrinha, or rather its name, is peculiar to Algarve, as 



60 IN PORTUGAL 

from the station through Portimao to the little 
hotel on the shore, called the praia da Rocha. 
It is a low pink-washed building very primitive, 
but very clean and Portuguese. Thus there is 
no bathroom, but huge bilhas of hot and cold 
water are carried up for a bath ; there are no 
bells, and to summon a servant the hands are 
clapped, that custom of so many centuries still 
prevalent in Spain and Portugal. The sea comes 
up nearly to the door over a beautiful sandy shore 
with great rocks, and the only sound at night 
is that of the faint crystal crash of waves ; at 
day from the windows the sea, light-blue, and 
the sails of fishing-boats seem to be on a higher 
level than the house. Villanova de Portimao 
itself is on an inlet arm of sea, a little white town 
with white Ferragudo opposite. 

But it is not the coast only of Algarve that 
is a delight. The village of Monchique, high in 
the Serra do Monchique, is famous for the 
beauty of its surrounding woods and hills. Sao 
Marcos da Serra, separated from Monchique by 
the Serra do Monchique, and from the village 
of Santa Clara a Velha by the Serra do 
Caldeirdo, is a little white and brown village on 
a hill burnt in a perpetual soalheira, 1 although 

the carro is to Alemtejo and the galera to Extremadura. The 
carrinha is a light carriage of single horse or mule, or, more 
humbly, a cart with a plank seat in front and two chairs set against 
it at the back. 

1 " Sun-bath." A mulher de soalheira is a woman who in 



IN ALGARVE 61 

on one side is a valley of cool green meadows, 
and a stream (the Odelousa), half-choked with 
water-lilies. Between Sao Marcos da Serra and 
Monchique are range upon range of many-fold- 
ing hills, brown and dull-green and grey, all 
scented with cistus, the soil a purple-brown with 
views of more distant blue hills beyond, and 
little brown houses or huts. Tall sad-faced 
peasants of the serra come down in summer to 
reap in the valleys, their long thin sickles slung 
round them and wrapped in cloth. Sundays 
and week-days the work goes on in the fields, 
but in a summer midday the workers are seen 
stretched full length everywhere in the deep 
shade of fruit trees. 

Many of the houses are low and miserable, 
tut scrupulously whitewashed sheds of only two 
rooms, one containing a table, a bed, a few 
graceful one-handled bilhas l and small chairs 
set all round the walls ; the other a shed for the 
donkey which here, as in Andalucia, is almost 
considered one of the family. Children, naked 
and baked by the sun, sprawl in the doorway. 
In summer flowering hollyhocks stand sometimes 

winter loves to sit in the sun and so means a gossip, one who 
combines bisbilhotice (curiosity) and mixeriquice (love of gossip), 
and sits in the sun talking with her neighbours. So AjaneUeira is a 
window-woman, one who leaves her work to gaze out of windoAv. 
In Spanish, similarly, while rentanero means a glazier, ventanera 
means an idle gazer. 

1 Manufactured at Louie, the smaller and not 'least beautiful 
costing sometimes as little as ten reis. 



62 IN PORTUGAL 

as high as the house, or a stream's dry stony bed 
is bordered on either side by a thick hedge of 
myrtle in snowy flower ; the wretchedness of the 
houses contrasting with the loveliness of their 
surroundings 



CHAPTER IX 

EXTREMADURA 

Oh famoso Portugal, 

Conhece teu bem profundo. — Gil Vicente. 

(O renowned Portugal, realize thy noble worth.) 

THE charnecas of Alemtejo are prolonged 
into the province of Extremadura, 
where, however, they soon make way 
for corkwoods and pinewoods and 
olives. The charcoal-burners, carvoeiros, of the 
more remote parts of Extremadura have been 
described in the Revista Lusitana. They live in 
huts of branches of trees and brushwood called 
malhadas. 1 They have a chief, called moural, 
and a cook, called migueiro, from migas, bread 
crumbs, or bread boiled in the tijela over the fire, 
which, with sardinhas and bacalhao, is their chief 
food. They are divided into companheiros, 
sobrenoveis and novels? and are said even to have 

1 The same name is given to the enclosures in which the pigs are 
penned in early autumn beneath the azinheiras of Alemtejo. The 
word malhada is really equivalent to the Spanish mazada, a blow 
with a mallet. 

2 This word has nothing to do with Moors, or even with 
' mourejar, being merely the Spanish mayoral. In Alemtejo the 
head shepherd is called moiral. 

3 The novel (cf. the ' freshman ' of English and the nuevo of 
Spanish Universities) is among the charcoal burners practically a 
slave, the aobrenovel, ' super-freshman/ being a little better off. 

63 



G4 IN PORTUGAL 

their own language or culao (slang). Near Alcacer 
do Sal one may see sailing-boats loading charcoal 
on the Sado and thousands of sacks waiting piled 
near the bank. 

Many miles from Alcacer the beautiful back- 
waters of the Sado are half-hidden in willow 1 
and poplar and hedges of wild vine, and are 
covered with white and a few yellow waterlilies. 
Chicory, pink convolvulus and large blue thistles 
flower there, snakes slip away from the road 
into the long grass, and nightingales sing in the 
depths of green. 

The road is deserted and in seventy miles has 
but one ve?ida, called Casa Branca, and this is a 
shed containing a shop from which a curtained 
doorway leads to a small whitewashed kitchen 
with wide lareira. The shop has shelves along 
the partition wall, completely covering it ; a great 
miscellany of articles is for sale — cloth, wool, 
tobacco, bottles, hats, etc., and from the beams of 
the tiled roof hang many tin pans, cords and 
leeks and candles. A wooden counter runs the 
full length of the shed ; a few wooden benches, a 
tiny table, boxes, barrels and large bilhas com- 
plete the furniture. Swallows nest along the 
central beam of the roof- ceiling, the smoke of 
perpetual cigarettes going up to the nests. Two 
bullet-headed farm-servants sat at the tiny table 
before a large glass of red wine, a plate of black 

1 Chorao (weeper). 



EXTREMADURA G5 

and brown olives, a loaf of coarse bread smoking 
hot from the oven and a large bowl of curdled 
goat's milk. All this, which cost them nearly 
a shilling, they were eating together, wine and 
milk (into which the bread was crumbled), and 
olives indiscriminately, with keen relish. Their 
teeth were splendidly white and regular, their 
eyes, hair, faces and clothes all black and brown 
as the olives they were eating. The old wrinkled 
sycorax behind the counter hobbled away to see 
if any eggs were to be had, and returned 
presently with half-a-dozen fresh ones, four of 
which ' starred,' estrellados, with the excellent 
coarse bread and black coffee, provided, at the 
cost of sixpence, a meal fit for the gods. The 
inn bills or contas of the peasants are often 
repeated two or three times, with many an Escute 
Id 1 and Deioceme fallar so? Thus: " One pataco 
of bread and three vintens of wine, one tostdo, 

and dez reis of olives and " and then after 

discussion the addition begins again ; " One 
pataco of bread and three vintens of wine, one 
tostdo. ..." 

Rare are the travellers from Alemtejo to 
Alcacer and desolate is the road ; but occasionally 
men pass driving donkeys, the panniers gleaming 
with sardinhas which they sell in remote villages, 
often thirty and forty kilometres from Alcacer, 

1 Listen to me. 

2 Let me speak without interruption. 

F 



G6 IN PORTUGAL 

or a cantoneiro is seen cooking his midday meal 
in a frying-pan over a little fire of sticks. 
Alcacer do Sal is a picturesque old town with its 
houses of many tints along the Sado ; crescent- 
shaped barges laden with bilhas are rowed slowly 
by men in pointed go?Tos, and large sailing-boats 
take in a cargo of pinewood or charcoal or cork. 
The town lies on the side of a hill of cactus and 
aloes, on the top of which an old ruinous convent 
is now inhabited only by storks. Steep, roughly 
cobbled raas and calpadas go down to the street 
along the river with sharp abrupt angles and 
quaint old iron street lamps. The little hanging 
gardens of carnations, the iron balconies of trail- 
ing pink and red geraniums, the vine-trellises 
and whitewashed walls covered with vines, the 
grass-grown cobbled paths between huge cactus- 
hedges, the yellow-lichened roofs of brown tiles, 
and the old crumbling walls, give to Alcacer a 
charm and fascination, heightened by its direct 
communication with the sea. Certainly it is a 
town delightful to look on if it can scarcely be 
delightful to dwell in, with its pavementless 
curious streets of very modern names, but 
full of dirt and rubbish. 

There is no railway to Lisbon, but heavy 
sailing-boats go daily down the river Sado and 
across its long via to Setubal. They wait upon 
the tide and have no fixed hours of sailing, 
sometimes starting long before the dawn ; 



EXTREMADURA 67 

besides this strange and fascinating way of 
reaching Lisbon, a diligencia leaves Alcacer 
every morning at seven for the railway station of 
Poceirao, forty kilometres away, arriving there at 
eleven. The driver blows his horn, and the pair 
of mules slowly climbs the steep Rua do Outeiro 
(Hill-Street) out of the town. Tall hedges of 
cactus, blackberry and wild vine border the road ; 
then comes a country of pinewoods and mile 
upon mile of corkwoods, the stripped trunks 
yellow, brown or deep maroon. The ground 
beneath pines and corktrees is bright with many 
flowers, large cistus flowers of white and yellow 
and glowing pink, 1 magnificent white and blue 
thistles, tall thin-branched asphodels, rock rose, 2 
and many more. A stop is made at Aguas de 
Moura, a little village of low and windowless 
houses with blue corners and whitewashed walls ; 
and at last the mules jingle into Poceirao, 
where immense stacks of cork lie along the 
station, and whence the train speeds through a 
grey-white sandy soil (producing an abundance 
of corn and wine and oil), past Pinhal Novo 
(New Pinewood) and Alhos Vedros (Old Leeks), 
to Barreiro and the Tagus. 

The peasants of Extremadura, as those of 
Alemtejo and Beira Baixa and a little every- 
where, wear the curious woollen cap of liberty, 

1 Cistus helimofolius and Cistus lasianthus. 

2 Eelianthemum vulgare. 



68 IN PORTUGAL 

long and pointed and nearly always dark brown 
or black. It is called as a rule simply gorro, 
but also barrete and carapu^a (the last especially 
in Alemtejo and Algarve). It costs about one 
shilling, rarely more than three tostoes, and, in 
addition to being a covering for the head, serves 
as a purse for money or tobacco, the point, if its 
contents are many, standing up stiffly instead of 
falling limply at the back or over the forehead. 
They carry long sticks, ending sometimes in six 
inches of ornamented brass, and wear short coats 
(like Eton jackets) often brown and hemmed 
with black braid, the sleeves having a pattern 
of braid and buttons. 

The women in Extremadura wear flat crown- 
like hats of black velvet over glowing kerchiefs. 
The hat with a pressed down ostrich feather, is 
but about two inches high (the height of the rim) 
and six inches across, and is both ornamental 
and useful for supporting loads on the head. 
The tall bilhas, red and brown, are carried on 
the head lying on their sides, apparently ever 
just about to roll into the road or street but 
never actually doing so. The carts (galeras) 
are often drawn by three mules abreast and 
have high sides of planks ; other lighter carts 
are drawn by two donkeys yoked, not har- 
nessed. Sometimes the ox-carts have wheels 
of solid wood except for an open half moon 
on either side of the axle, but often this 



EXTREMADURA 69 

crescent is enlarged till little but rim and axle 
remains. 1 

The vendas in remote parts of Extremadura 
are as quaint as anywhere in Portugal. Large 
bilhas of water and garrafoes 2 of brandy stand 
on the counter, and on the ground a barrel or 
huge pigskin of wine, with a few long benches 
and stools of pinewood. The ceiling is merely 
the roof inverted, of tiles with blackened beams, 
the smoke from ' the great lareira going out 
through a few holes. Sometimes the coarse grey 
salt is kept in a hollow piece of pinetrunk by 
the fire, into which the hand is dipped when 
it is required for cooking. Otherwise salt is 
scarcely used, and a bottle of fine salt is one of 
the greatest needs of those who travel in the 
more out-of-the-way districts. The food of the 
peasants is mostly potatoes, cabbage and other 
vegetables, bread of maize or rye, ham, wine, 
brandy ; one may see a whole family of six or 
seven, each with his piece of bread and little iron 
fork, dipping into a single pot of brown earthen- 
ware containing a mixture of sausages and the fat 
of ham ; or in the hotter weather they eat salads 
of oil and pimento, lettuce, garlic and olives. And 
these peasants, living in isolated houses or tiny 

1 In the north of Traz-os-Montes the tiny half moon is replaced 
by a complete circle on either side of the axle and the wheels are 
sometimes painted red. 

2 Large jars of glass covered with osier. 



70 IN PORTUGAL 

villages, will offer their house (a minha cam) and 
their food (e servido) like Castilians, or spend 
much trouble and time in preparing a meal 
for the stranger, scouring the village for coffee 
or eggs, for which they will charge but a few 
vintens. 



CHAPTER X 

LISBON (i) 

What beauties cloth Lisboa first unfold ! 

Her image floating on that noble tide 

Which poets vainly pave with sands of gold. — Byron. 

,; Es buena tierra 
Lisboa? — La mejorde Espafia. . . . 

es contar las estrellas 
Querer contar una parte 
Desta ciudad opulenta. — Tirso de Molina. 

(Is Lisbon a fair city ? — The best in Spain. ... It were to count 
the stars to attempt to tell even a part of this city's wealth.) 

Lisboa pouco a pouco surgia com as suas brancas calicas, a herva 
nos seus telhados, indolente e doce aos meus olhos. — Eca de 
Queiroz, A Reliquia. 

(Lisbon's white walls and grass-grown roofs gradually appeared 
soft and indolent before my eyes.) 

FROM the Tagus Lisbon appears to be 
great hills of houses with no interven- 
ing space of rocks or trees. Many a 
garden and green avenue lies com- 
pletely hidden by the many levels and steep 
hollows of the city. The Avenida da Libc?-dade> 
for instance, seems to be on low ground, yet 
to one side of it one may look down upon the 
tops of trees and by night wonder at the scent 
from a hidden garden deep below. It is these 
hidden reserves of pleasant places, the level above 

71 



72 IN PORTUGAL 

level, the sharp angles and abrupt descents, that 
delight the stranger. Frequently, when least 
expecting it, and seemingly engulfed in buildings, 
he has a surprise glimpse of the Tagus, light-blue, 
far below, of the mystery of the ships and the 
magic of the sea. 

The yellow and white carris de ferro l of 
Lisbon are excellent mountaineers, curving and 
stopping on slopes so steep that it might seem as 
if it only remained for them to turn head over 
heels. That which best gives an idea of Lisbon's 
steepness is the view of Grapa, from near the 
Rocio, a precipitous hill of houses, house sheer 
above house in seven or eight storeys to the trees 
and old walls of the Castcllo. The houses are 
pink and grey and white and yellow, many- 
windowed. When the evening light is on the 
windows and the sun " lance son dernier adieu " 
in flame of gold on every pane, while the clear 
blue sky forms a background to this mass of 
houses, the effect is most weird and beautiful ; as 
the afterglow dies, white and yellow lights appear 
here and there along the hill in street and window. 
Everything in Lisbon, the sky, the air, the 
colours of the houses, the lamps at night in 
narrow streets or shining through leaves of trees, 
is soft and beautiful ; only the strident red and 
green of the Republican flags are hideously 
aggressive in this peace. The lamps at night in 

1 Electric tramcars. 



LISBON 73 

the Rocio, in the Avenida da Liberdadc, in the 
Prcifa do Commercio shine softly like those of 
Mediterranean cities ; in summer there is an 
added softness, but the winter sky, clear and 
luminous, is not less beautiful, and reappears 
after rain in a fresher radiance. 1 

The Rocio or Prcifa de Dom Pedro (with a 
statue of King Pedro IV.) is a large parallelogram 
paved in a waving pattern of black and white 
cobbles, surrounded by trees under which are seats 
crowded with idle loiterers and the unemployed. 
At one end is the theatre inaugurated by Almeida- 
Garrett, and opposite one wing of the theatre a 
little square, with the horseshoe arches of the 
Estafdo Central (the trains themselves being on 
a higher level). This square leads into the 
Avenida da Liber dade, magnificently broad and 
long, with its great central avenue, its side streets 
for the trams, and its wide pavements beneath 
palms and acacias and the arched shade of elms, 
and many a little kiosque and cool chafariz. 

From the terrace of the Church of Nossa 
Senhora da Graf a there is a splendid view of the 
city, red-tiled roofs, grey churches and yellow- 
washed buildings. The church stands on the 
steep hill-side, and flowers, olives and even little 
plots of maize grow immediately below it. From 

1 Almeida-Garrett speaks of " uma d'estas brilhantes manhans de 
hynverno como as uao ha senao em Lisboa — One of those brilliant 
winter mornings that only Lisbon knows." — Viagens na minha terra. 



74 IN PORTUGAL 

the church of Nossa Senhora do Monte the view 
is even wider, and from that of Nossa Senhora da 
Penha da Franpa, about 350 feet above the sea, 
one may look on Lisbon and hills and sea and 
Cintra's serra. It is a little church above a cool 
praca and chafariz and high-walled garden with 
vine and rose trellises, and hanging ivy geraniums 
and carnations and Madonna lilies flowering 
along the top of the wall ; a welcome sight after 
the sunny climb along the Rua da Graca and the 
Estrada da Penha da Franca. 

Some of the houses of Lisbon are of many 
storeys and tower above the steep descending 
street, as in the Rua de Sao Francisco; some- 
times they are entirely covered with azidejos 
(glazed tiles), easily washed and looking very 
bright and clean. The Rua do Alecrim l (Rose- 
mary Street) is one of the steepest streets of this 
city of steep streets, going up to the Praca de 
Camoes on the left and the Rua Garrett on the 
right. The houses, of great height, appear 
gigantic from the rapid fall of the street, in which 
one may see tandems of oxen 2 pulling a load up 
the hill. From here one may go on and up to 

1 "The most singular street, however, of all is that of the 
Alemcrin or Rosemary, which debouches on the Caesodre. It is very 
precipitous and is occupied on either side by the palaces of the 
Portuguese nobility, massive and frowning but grand and picturesque 
edifices, with here and there a hanging garden overlooking the 
streets at a great height.'' — Borrow, The Bible in Spain. 

2 The carts of single oxen in Lisbon are many, and some have 
wheels of solid wood. 



LISBON 75 

the Mac d'Agua, the Mother of Water, past the 
Alameda de Sao Pedro, with its shady avenue 
and beautiful view of the greater part of Lisbon, 
past the Largo do Principe Real (now Praca do 
Rio de Janeiro) with its trees and flowers and 
view of Lisbon no less beautiful, past the 
Botanical Gardens and the Royal Observatory, 
to the uneven slanting Largo do Rato. Its 
quaint indigenous name has not been allowed to 
stand ; the Republic, with a disinterested passion 
for improvement, has altered it to Largo do 
Brasil, and the Brazilians are no doubt flattered 
to see the name of their country where before 
was a humble rat. High above Lisbon as is this 
la?go, steep streets go out from it to a still higher 
level. The Rua das Amoreiras thus goes up to 
the Prapa das Amoreiras, a little square of limes 
and copper beeches, palms and roses, and to the 
aqueduct the "Mother of Water," in one of 
whose arches the little church or chapel of 
Monserrate lies ensconced. 1 

Another street going up from the Largo do 
Rato is the Rua do Sol do Rato, joined to the 
Rua das Amoreiras by the Rua de Sao Jodo dos 
Bern Casados, St. John of the Well Married. 
Both these streets have hitherto escaped the 
ardour of the street-name politician. The Rua 

1 At Campolide, a few miles on the way to Cintra, the aqueduct 
stalks magnificently across the deep valley of Alcantara with tall 
pointed arches, and little turrets set along it at intervals. 



76 IN PORTUGAL 

do Sol do Rato is especially picturesque, its deep 
coloured houses of brown, maroon and yellow 
standing at many levels and angles ; and in early 
morning many are its cries and chants, of sellers 
of milk driving their cows slowly up the street ; 
of sellers of fruit or vegetables or fish, or thyme 
and other scented plants for firing. A side street, 
the Rua do Vizconde Santo Ambrosio, leads from 
it to the Church of Saint Elizabeth, Beatae Eliza- 
beth Lusitaniae Reginae, and the Rua de Saraiva 
Carvalho, and then the little Cemiterio dos 
Inglezes appears, in a corner of the Passeio 
Publico da Estrella. It is dark and cool, with 
cypresses and masses of red geranium, six feet 
high. Here Fielding was buried in 1754, the 
present tomb and inscriptions being of 1830: 
" Henrici Fielding a Somersetensibus apud 
Glastoniam oriundi, viri summo ingenio, en quae 
restant, stylo quo non alius unquam intima qui 
potuit cordia reserare, mores hominum excolendos 
suscepit, etc., etc."; a trailing inscription of 
many lines, the last of which is already illegi- 
ble. Another side bears the pathetic words : 
"Advenit Olyssiponem recuperandae sanitatis 
causa, ubi tabe elanguescens revisere dum 
cuperet natale solum ultimam aspexit lucem. 
MDCCLIV. aetatis xlvii." The cemetery is on 
the outskirts of the city, not far from the Campo 
de Ourique with its fields of corn and little wind- 
mills. 



LISBON 77 

Perhaps even more than to see the Lisbon 
churches — the Cathedral and its cloister round a 
fair garden of climbing plants and scarlet- 
flowering pomegranates, from the end arch of 
which is seen a glimpse of the Tagus far 
below ; the beautiful ruined Carmo, now serving 
as an archaeological museum ; Sao Vicente 
de Fora, with its sacristy of coloured marble 
mosaics rich rather than beautiful, and its 
grim and ghastly pantheon of the Kings of 
Portugal (including King Carlos and the Crown 
Prince) ; Nossa Senhora da Conceicao Velha, 
with its Manueline front ; more than to see the 
gardens and avenues — the Avenida da Liber dade, 
the Alameda de Sao Pedro de Alcantara, the 
Botanical Gardens, the Tapada das Necessidades? 
or the shops and clubs of the Chiado (now Bua 
Garrett) — the stranger has a curiosity to see the 
markets of Lisbon, the fish-market by the Tagus 
and the market of the Praca daFigueira, to which 
during the night and early morning rumble the 
saloios" 2 carts of vegetables and flowers and fruit 
of every kind from the outlying gardens and 
from the rich orchards of C intra. The market, 

1 The Tapada, now kept open, is, both in extent and in the 
variety of its trees and flowers, of real magnificence and far grander 
in appearance than the Palacio das Necesxidades to which it belongs. 
The Palacio is an unpretentious rambling house, of pink and orange 
wash with white shutters, looking down on to the dingy streets and 
factory chimneys of the Doca, de Alcantara. 

2 The name given to the peasants in the neighbourhood of 
Lisbon. 



78 IN PORTUGAL 

under a roof of glass and corrugated iron is, 
indeed, crowded with flowers, among yellow and 
red and golden mounds of fruit ; in the early 
morning the dense groups of women, often 
carrying baskets of fruit and vegetables, hens and 
ducks on their heads, and the massed abundance 
of many fruits threaten to invade the street, and 
there is a ceaseless rumour of many voices ; but 
at no hour of the day and at scarcely any hour of 
the night is the market entirely deserted. 

Even more picturesque is the market along 
the Caes do Sodre, a place of huge extent under 
rough sheds, where women sit on the ground 
between vegetables heaped in towering pyramids 
many feet high, without baskets ; and here, too, 
many flowers are sold. Opposite is the fish- 
market, uncovered, with large white umbrellas 
above the stalls. The fishwomen {peioceiras) of 
Lisbon are to be seen in every part of the city, in 
the fashionable streets and pra$as 9 in the stifling 
alleys of the Mowraria oiAIfama, toiling barefoot 
up a precipitous cobbled street, or blocking a pave- 
ment with their loads of fish. Their flat baskets, 
saucer-shaped black hats and large gold earrings, 
their kerchiefs of black or, more often, of bright 
gold, yellow, orange or green, flowing down to 
the waist, their stiffly folding skirts of dull 
green, mauve or blue, their piercing cries and 
tired faces render them the most curious sight 
and sound of the city. Fish are also sold by 



LISBON 79 

men, in white with black cinta and gorro, carrying 
a long heavy pole across one shoulder with a 
basket on either end, but their cries are mellower 
as are the chants of the vegetable-sellers, who 
likewise carry two loaded baskets on a heavy 
pole. 1 

Especially in early morning is the fish-market 
crowded, although all day the scene there is a 
busy one ; the fish-sellers have first to buy their 
fish, and this is no simple process, but entails 
endless bargaining and standing before the stalls, 
so that even in the early morning one is scarcely 
surprised to see a worn, tired look on many of 
the faces. The women who sell cry the price 
shrilly in an endless repetition and at incredible 
speed, like a clock run mad ; till at length they 
cease exhausted, only to begin again after a short 
interval. Their words, even at full speed, are 
perfectly clear and by the sheer importunity of 
their cry they lure on and paralyze the buyer ; at 
least that seems to be an explanation of their 
otherwise quite reedless repetition. The abund- 
ance of fish of every kind and colour, shape and 
size, the white stalls, the many yellows, orange, 
gold and green and other colours of the women's 
kerchiefs, their quaint flat black hats and rigid 

1 In summer little shops and stalls of fruit are to be seen every- 
where ; donkeys pass loaded with tiny baskets of strawberries ; and 
little stands are carried about with lemons and glasses and great red 
bilhas of water. Later in the year may be seen donkeys with 
panniers of olives fresh from the country. 



80 IN PORTUGAL 

skirts, the black bright-patterned pads worn 
above hat and kerchiefs, the flat baskets covered 
with blue and green oilcloths, all combine to form 
the strangest scene imaginable. The women are 
all barefoot, but many have huge gold earrings, 
and gold chains with hanging coins and lockets. 

Along the Cries do Sodre are little piers with 
sloping intervals of wall, where women in bright- 
coloured dresses wash the fish. Fishing-boats 
with furled sails and brown nets drying from the 
masts are all along the quay, and in some of 
them, newly arrived, women wait to fill their 
baskets, the green, gold and yellow, and dull 
mauves and blues of their dress showing against 
the nets. In another boat women may be 
seen unloading bricks in flat baskets on their 
heads, and other boats, black and green, sail 
slowly out with rust-red sails. Near the quay 
women are at work among a great array of 
baskets and salt and sardinhas ; two women 
sitting in deep baskets, surrounded by salt, face 
one another and throw the salted sardines into a 
third basket, in which another woman packs and 
arranges them. Little stalls of fried sardines, 
bread and wine and coffee, offer refreshment to 
those of the workers who can afford the time 
and money, but in the early morning the work 
goes on unceasing, one of the most crowded 
hours of Lisbon's busy life. 



CHAPTER XI 

LISBON (ii) — ALFAMA 

With all its ruin and desolation Lisbon is unquestionably the 
most remarkable city in the Peninsula, and perhaps in the South of 
Europe. — Gkorge Borrow. 

Quem nao ve Lisboa nao ve cousa boa. — Portuguese Proverb. 

(Lisbon unseen, great loss, I ween.) 

E tu, nobre Lisboa, que no mundo 
Facilmente das outras es princeza. — Camoes. 

(And thou, noble Lisbon, that reignest supreme among the 
cities of the world.) 

IT is small wonder that Lisbon should have 
interested Borrow, since even now, when 
the city has lost so many of its quaint- 
nesses, an old street name, a narrow 
archway, an ancient custom or costume 
continually disappearing, it has preserved its 
somewhat baffling and mysterious individuality, 
often remaining strange and unfamiliar to the 
visitor, even after a long stay. And by reason 
of its position on the slopes and summits of 
several hills above the river it can never bow the 
knee entirely to progress. Not even the earth- 
quake that, on the 1st of November 1755, came 
suddenly in a cloudless sky and sank the ships 
along the Cues das Columnas, and mingled 
churches and houses in a common ruin, could 

81 g 



82 IN PORTUGAL 

alter the formation of the hills to which Lisbon 
owes much of its charm. 

In spite of the carefully kept cleanly appear- 
ance of the greater part of the city, still — 

Within this town 
That sheening far celestial seems to be 

there are quarters where the inhabitants are 
crowded in airless spaces, unkempt, unwashed 
and reared in dirt. Especially the districts below 
the Limoeiro and above the JDocas da Alfandega 
and Tcrreiro do Trigo, districts with Moorish 
names — Alfama, Mow aria — are most weird and 
extraordinary. Alfama — the parishes of S&o 
Migoel and S&o JSstevdo — is the poorest, dingiest 
quarter of the city. The streets go steeply 
down to the Tagtis in sharp turnings, precipitous 
flights of steps and dark arched passages. Some 
of the streets are not a yard wide, the broader 
ones are blocked by men lying asleep across 
them. Women, in bright reds and yellows 
bargain for fish and vegetables on the ground ; 
men carrying barrels of water call their peculiar 
low cry ; children play on narrow flights of 
stone steps or disappear into little dark courts. 

Alfama is a Moorish network of becos 1 and 
ruas, escadi?iha$, 2 travessas, tiny largos and 

1 Narrow streets. In Traz-os-Montes a narrow^ dingy passage 
is called an alfurja, elsewhere a betesgu. 

2 Small flights of steps. 



LISBON— ALFAMA 83 

praf08, catyadas, boqueirocs, 1 calcadinhm? for 
the greater part so intricate and tiny that they 
can be marked on no plan however minute. 
The hill is precipitously steep, and the streets, 
eked out by steps and diving under passages, 
climbing and twisting in search of an outlet to 
the air, give the impression that they are not 
streets but irregular cracks opened by an earth- 
quake in a solid mass of houses. The widest, 
that of Sao Vicente, gives bare passage to a 
tram, which winds slowly up the breathless 
ascent. 

In the narrower streets clothes and gay- 
coloured manias are hung right across from 
upper windows, further increasing the stifledness 
below. Here are the Largo do Outeirinho da 
Amendoeira (Square of the Little Hill of the 
Almond Tree), the Baa dos Corvos (Street of 
Crows), the JSeco das JBeguinas, the JBeco dos 
Paus (Street of Staves) ; the steep narrow 
Escadinhas de Sao Estevdo, the Escadinhas do 
Areo de Dona Rosa, a flight of steps ascending 
from the Largo de Dona Rosa with a sharp, 
dark turn and gloomy, murderous archway, the 
Beco dos Clerigos, formed of steps and cobbles. 
The little becos are strewn with dirt and rubbish, 
cats and naked children ; there is, indeed, scarcely 

1 Boqueirdo = literally " a large mouth/' and so a court or 
passage. 

2 Little paved ways. 



84 IN PORTUGAL 

room to wield a brush, and they are probably 
but seldom swept. But here and there are a few 
vines, and even small hanging gardens and 
terraces of one or two trees ; or plants of carna- 
tions in old tins flower along the tiny iron 
balconies. Colour is never lacking ; the bright- 
hued blankets hung across the streets, a single 
one more than covering the street's width, the 
marvellously brilliant pinks and reds, gold and 
orange worn by the women enliven this sordid 
place, and the houses are washed in bright 
orange, pink and other hues. Little rooms full 
of bright trinkets display their contents to the 
street from the recess of a low dark arch, or 
children in pink and scarlet play among grey 
heaps of rubbish. Above stands the great yellow- 
washed prison, the Limoeiro l (scene of so many 
despairs and injustices, where political offenders 
and common criminals and children have been 
and still are herded together), as if it were the 
natural and reasonable outcome of such surround- 



ings. 



1 The poet Almeida-Garrett was imprisoned there in 1823 : 

N'esta mansao do crime e da vergoiiha 
Cos malfeitores vis. 

(With low miscreants, in this dwelling of crime and shame.) 



CHAPTER XII 

THE CONVENT AND TOWER OF BELEM 

Avante*, avante Lisboa 

Que por todo o mundo soa 

Tua prospera fortuna. — Gil Vicente. 

(Forward, oh Lisbon, since through all the world 
Thy prosperous fortune sounds.) 

Salva, Belem, sentinella 
Solitaria do Rastello, 
Padrao glorioso e bello 
Da nossa edade mais bella. 
D'essas rendadas ameias 
Espreitas as velas cheias 
Dos galeoes d'alem-mar ? 
Nao, que o teu vulto guerreiro 
Ficou so. Mas o estrangeiro 
Ha-de inclinar-se ao passar ! 

— Josfi da Silva Mendes-Leal (1818-1886). 

(Hail, Belem, solitary sentinel of the Rastello, fair and glorious 
memorial of our fairest age. From thy laced ramparts dost thou 
look for the full sails of galleys from beyond the sea ? No, for alone 
thy warrior mien l-emains. Yet will the passing stranger bow his 
head in reverence.) 

VASCO DA GAMA, after passing the 
short July night (1497) in the little 
hermitage of A r ossa Senhora do 
Rastello, went with solemn prayer in 
procession to the Tagus, to embark on that 
great voyage of discovery which was to make his 
own name and the name of Portugal famous 
throughout the centuries. 

85 



8G IN PORTUGAL 

Camoes describes the scene in the Lusiads : 

A gente da cidade aquelle dia 
(Uns por amigos, outros por parentes, 
Outros por ver somente) concorria, 
Saudosos na vista e descontentes ; 
E nos, co'a virtuosa companhia 
De mil religiosos diligentes, 
p]m procissao solemne a Deus orando 
Para os bateis viemos caminhando. 

(The people of the city on that day (some to take leave of friends 
or kinsmen, others but to look on) came together, their looks all 
sad and wistful : and we in the virtuous company of a thousand 
diligent priests went towards the boats, in solemn procession and 
with prayer to God.) 

Partimonos assim do santo templo 
Que nas praias do maresta assentado. 1 

(And thus we left the holy temple built upon the shore.) 

On the site of the hermitage King Manoel I. 
had made a vow to build a nobler temple 
if the expedition were successful, and when 
Vasco da Gama returned in 1499, " entrando 
a boca ja do Tejo ameno," the first stone of the 
new building was laid. The style is Manueline, 
the cloisters and magnificent entrance of the 
Church of Santa Maria are by Joao de Castilho. 
It is curious to call both the austerely bare and 
simple churches of Catalonia and the profusely 
ornate Manueline buildings of Portugal Gothic ; 
yet Manueline is a late Gothic, and often, indeed, 
one longs to strip off some of its laced traceries 
and surfeit of unnecessary details, so noble and 

1 " Partirao do porto de Bethelem." Damiao de Goes, Chronica 
(lo/elicissimo Pmi Dom Emanuel. 



CONVENT AND TOWER OF BELEM 87 

splendid is its main structure. Happily many 
of these details have a meaning and purpose — 
to represent by ropes, chains, spheres and even 
tropical birds and flowers, Navigation and Vasco 
da Gama's voyage of discovery. The style 
bears the name of the King (Manoel I.) in 
whose reign the great discoveries were made. 

The interior of the church of Belem has an 
air of severe grandeur for all its wealth of 
ornament. The single pillars, rising to the full 
height of the building (25 metres) are very 
splendid, although they are tortured with 
sculpture : one may be sufficiently ungrateful 
to reflect that had they been left plain, their 
effect would have been even more wonderful. 
Here is that vivid statue of Sao Jeronymo 
open-mouthed, of whom King Philip II. of 
Spain said that he was waiting for it to speak. 
Here, side by side, are the tombs of Vasco 
da Gama and Camoes in a little chapel with 
that of King Sebastian, which rests on rude 
elephants of black marble. And opposite is the 
coffin of the poet and politician, Vizconde de 
Almeida-Garrett (1799-1854). In the Cloister 
rests beneath a splendid tomb his contemporary, 
Alexandre Herculano, the poet-historian (1810- 
1877). The Cloister has a rich magnificence of 
sculpture, stone ropes everywhere twisting up 
the pillars and around their bases ; the Cloister 
garden, too, represents in stiff-set patterns the 



88 IN PORTUGAL 

same idea of navigation, and the central plot 
consists of an immense sphere. 

The former convent is now an orphan school 
with eight hundred orphans and twenty-five 
masters. Thrice a day they have their meals in 
the monks' great refeitorio. There are fourteen 
dormitories, some of them with as many as 
seventy beds, the rooms very clean and full of air 
from wide windows all along them. Opposite 
the convent a garden full of flowers, with tall 
geranium hedges, reaches to the Tagus. Along 
an old high yellow- washed wall with coping of 
pink and purple flowers, and a quinta of the 
Duque de Louie', and then through dingy streets 
one comes to the Torre de Belem, which has its 
foundation in the sand and its front terrace in the 
waters of the Tagus, tiny waves breaking round 
it. Across the light blue water one may see the 
steep banks and pinewoods of the opposite shore 
and to the left, not far from the river's mouth, 
many ships ride at anchor. Everywhere upon 
the curious low tower, standing so grey and 
solitary at the extreme river edge, are coils and 
knots of rope carved in stone. At its back is a 
factory chimney and a deposit of coal, so that on 
this side the tower is all black and grimy ; but 
seaward it maintains its look not of beauty but 
of proud independence and determination and 
quaint individuality. 



CHAPTER XIII 

CINTRA 

Cintra pendura-se pela montanha entre lencoes d'aguas vivas 
e respira o cheiro das hervas e flores que crescem & sombra das 
penedias. — Herculano. 

(Cintra hangs upon the mountain-side between streams of 
living water and breathes the scent of herb and flower that grow in 
the shadow of the crags.) 

If there be a place in the world entitled to the appellation of an 
enchanted region it is surely Cintra. — Borrow. 

Lo ! Cintra's glorious Eden intervenes 
In variegated maze of mount and glen. 
Ah me ! what hand can pencil guide, or pen. 
To follow half on which the eye dilates 
Through views more dazzling unto mortal ken 
Than those whereof such things the bard relates 
Who to the awe-struck world unlocked Elysium's gates ? 

The horrid crags, by toppling convent crowned, 
The cork-trees hoar that clothe the shaggy steep, 
The mountain moss by scorching skies imbrowned, 
The sunken glen, whose sunless shrubs must weep, 
The tender azure of the unruffled deep, 
The orange tints that gild the greenest bough, 
The torrents that from cliff to valley leap, 
The vine on high, the willow branch below, 
Mixed in one mighty scene with varied beauty glow. 

Then slowly climb the many-winding way 
And frequent turn to linger as you go, 
From loftier rocks new loveliness survey 
And rest ye at ' Our Lady's House of Woe.' — Byron. 

89 



90 IN PORTUGAL 

POSSIBLY many of those who go to 
Portugal have a certain prejudice 
against C intra, and are even at times 
inclined to leave it unvisited. They are 
a little weary of the intervening of its glorious 
Eden, they have heard it so often praised in 
verse and prose, the name is so familiar, the 
beauty recognized by all, it has become like one 
of those great classics which everyone knows so 
well but which no one has great curiosity or 
incentive to read. Perhaps too they expect to 
find there aggressive modern buildings and sky- 
scraping hotels. But Cintra visited instantly 
dispels these fears, and calmly, haughtily sweeps 
away disaffection and indifference, justifying the 
magic of its name. Yet, although it cannot 
disappoint, but must surprise and enchant all 
those who go there, it is not a little difficult 
to write of Cintra, since in the first place it 
cannot be described, and, secondly, it has been 
described so often. Cintra itself is a straggling 
village of pink and red, brown, yellow and green- 
washed houses around the Palacio Real with its 
curious immense chimneys. The mountain range 
immediately above it is folded in three heights, 
forming together a great wing of crags and trees ; 
the central height rises to a sharp peak, with the 
Castello da Pena, x the ' toppling convent' between 

1 Really Peuha ' Rock/ but now universally known as Pena 
Woe,' 'Our Lady's House of Woe.' 



CINTRA 91 

the pine-covered ridge of the Cruz alta and a 
hill with great boulders and grey Moorish 
Castle, below which the rock is all yellow with 
broom or whin in flower. The Serra de Cintra 
continues in deep-wooded crags gradually 
sloping to the sea and from the road to Mafra 
one turns to look back frequently to the loveli- 
ness of this whole region. 

Between Lisbon and Cintra there are no 
fewer than thirteen little railway-stations (in 
twenty-two miles), with crowding gardens of 
fruit and vegetables, and many a country-house 
and palace, the Castle of Queluz, the quinta of 
the Condes de Pombeiro at Bellas, the monastery 
of Dominicans at Bemfica. Olives and corn 
mingle with vines and gardens, the ripe corn in 
places blue with chicory and convolvulus. 
After Cacem the country is wilder, chiefly of 
green moors studded with yellow and purple 
flowers and splendid patches of broom. 

The village of Cintra is pleasantly surprising 
in its houses and hotels mostly unpretentious 
and embedded in trees. The hotels, especially, 
are unassuming, as the old Lawrence's Hotel, a 
low and yellow-washed building with an English 
proprietor and a Galician mozo, who will tell you 
with pride that " Byron and Lipton " have stayed 
there. A few hideous buildings there are, as a 
glaring white house of immense size just finished 
for a Portuguese millionaire, and the new Pacos 



92 IN PORTUGAL 

do Concelho. But the most obnoxious thing in 
Cintra now, besides the English everywhere 
spoken, is not these new buildings, which time 
will mellow, and which meanwhile will be a 
dreadful warning to prevent others, but a thing 
so small that it might escape notice, a sign-board 
high up on the " many-winding mountain- way " 
that leads to the Castello da Pena bearing the 
inscription Avenida de Candido dos Rets. 1 It is 
well known that the chief joy, if not the only aim 
of revolutions in Spain and Portugal is to change 
the names of street and square in every town and 
village throughout the country. It is a very 
harmless way of annoying political opponents, 
and inspires its authors with a pleasing sense of 
strength and union ; but to post a name up 
where no name was, and where there is no street 
or wall or house but only trees and flowers, seems 
gratuitous and surely shows an excess of zeal. 
Perhaps, when the first official ardour of candid 
Republicanism is over, someone will have the 
good taste to order the removal of this flaunting 
notice and to chop off the head of the 
administrador do concelho or of whoever was the 
offender. 

The private rooms of the Palacio Real at 
Cintra now serve as a museum. In the Sala 
dos Cervos (Hall of Stags) the stags still support 

1 The name of the admiral who, believing the revolution of 
October 1910 to have failed, committed suicide. 



C INTRA 93 

the arms of the Portuguese nobility ; in the long 
Sala dos Cisnes twenty or thirty swans cover the 
ceiling, and in the Sala das Pegas the ceiling is 
all of magpies, carrying scrolls in their beaks 
with the words Por bein. The well-known story 
is that Philippa of Lancaster surprised her 
husband, King Joao 1., paying court to one of 
her ladies, and the King to excuse himself said 
that it was por bem, * for good,' honourably 
meant. The royal words went mockingly from 
mouth to mouth of the Court ladies, and the 
King revenged himself in this painting of many 
magpies. In the prapa (now Praca da Republica) 
outside the palace is a pillar said to be part of 
an ancient fountain 1 to which belongs another 
legend. For it is said that King Joao III. was 
minded that the fountain should flow with milk 
on a certain day ; each inhabitant of Cintra was 
to contribute a bilha of milk to this intent. But 
each inhabitant, thinking that one bilha of water 
in so much milk would pass unnoticed, poured 
in a bilha of water, and on the appointed day, 
when the fountain was set flowing before King 
and Court assembled, the water gushed out clear 
crystal as before. 

A narrow path leads among the grey crags 
of the serra to the long crenellated walls and 
towers of the ruinous Castello dos Mouros, grey 
as the rock beneath it. The path winds beneath 

1 The old pelourinho was destroyed last century by the Conce/ho % 



94 IN PORTUGAL 

trees of every kind, with periwinkles and fox- 
gloves, harebells, wild roses, rhododendrons and 
bracken, and a mixed scent of moor and sea. 
Other paths go up to the Castello da Pena. The 
wildness of huge boulders and pines defies 
attempts to make the hill- side like a well- 
ordered garden. Chestnuts and oaks, pines, 
eucalyptus and palms, magnolias and beeches 
and cedars, camelias and elms, bays and myrtles 
mingle their Northern gloom and strength with 
a Southern brilliance of flower and gracefully- 
waving branches ; here and there is an old 
crumbling well or a small arched building with 
fallen pillars, and below the Castle, in the 
beautiful gardens, is the Fonte das Andorrinhas 
(Fountain of Swallows), of water icy and trans 
parent, its marble spout, on which four white 
marble swallows perch to drink, all worn away 
by the water. 

The Castle was originally a hermitage of 
monks of the Order of Sao Jeronymo. King 
Manoel I. had arranged for it to be enlarged, and, 
as he inspected the work, he is said to have seen 
the ships of Vasco da Gama entering the Tagus' 
mouth after their successful voyage of discovery, 
and so built this palace, which still, for all its 
magnificence, has a certain homely air. It has 
no electricity or gas, it has no bath-rooms ; the 
dining-room, with worn carpet, has place for 
scarcely twenty persons. Gaping peasants now 



CINTRA 95 

wander through the private rooms, where photo- 
graphs of the Crown Prince and King Manoel 
belonging to Queen Amelia, and arms belonging 
to King Manoel, still hang on the walls, and the 
tables are covered with illustrated newspapers, 
for the most part English, of the week preceding 
the Revolution. The house has all the air of 
patiently awaiting its master's return. After the 
extinction of the Religious Orders in 1838 the 
Castctto da Pena was bought by King Ferdinand 
and on his death by the State. The chapel has 
an altar of alabaster and white marble beautifully 
sculptured. The dining-room opens on to a tiny 
high terrace with magnificent view ; but, indeed, 
the view from every window is magnificent, and 
from the little six-pillared turret on the top of 
the cupola, frequently in a fierce driving wind, 
there is a wide unbroken prospect of the whole 
country — across the giant statue of Vasco da 
Gama and the great stone cross, Cruz altu, to 
the beautiful circle of blue bay and white sandy 
shore l at the mouth of the Tagus, faint pieces 
of Lisbon, and, beyond, the wide moors and hills 
of Extremadura; and so round to the dark 
towers of Mafra's convent, and the sea. Imme- 
diately below on every side the lovely, darkly- 
wooded serra surrounds the palace, throwing its 
splendour into insignificance. 

The road to Colhares passes through woods 

1 The branca arm of Lusiads, iv. 84 



9G IN PORTUGAL 

and shady gardens with springs and pools and 
fountains, groves of citron and orange and all 
kinds of fruits and flowers, past the gardens of 
Penha Verde, a green door beneath an ancient 
archway, and, about four kilometres from Cintra, 
the Quint a de Monserrate. The owner, Sir 
Frederick Cook, is also the owner of Penha 
Verde, although the character of the man who 
planted the gardens of Penha Verde, Joao de 
Castro, fourth Portuguese Viceroy of India, was 
very different from that of William Beckford. 1 
The wonders of Monserrate's house and gardens 
(planned and laid out by Beckford) are so often 
told that one goes expecting to be a little dis- 
appointed. But the wild semi-neglect of the 
place, its art so artfully hidden, immediately 
takes the fancy prisoner, and the deep lawns 
below the house only add to the charm of the 
paths farther away through ivy, foxgloves and 
wild roses along the steep hill-side. A wild 
mountain torrent (so secret is the artifice) falls 

1 In that low shady quinta, embowered amongst those tall 
alcornoques, once dwelt John de Castro, the strange old viceroy of 
Goa, who pawned the hairs of his dead sou's beard to raise money 
to repair the ruined wall of a fortress threatened by the heathen of 
Ind ; those crumbling stones which stand before the portal, 
deeply graven, not with "runes," but things equally dark, Sanscrit 
rhymes from the Vedas, were brought by him from Goa, the most 
brilliant scene of his glory, before Portugal had become a base 
kingdom ; and down that dingle, on an abrupt rocky promontory, 
stand the ruined halls of the English Millionaire, who there nursed 
the wayward fancies of a mind as wild, rich and variegated as the 
scenes around. — The Bible in Spain. 



CINTRA 97 

in cataract after cataract from a great cliff of 
rocks, through gknt ferns and scarlet flowers to 
a dark pool with arum lilies and bamboos, and, 
there crossed by stepping stones, flows on to the 
deep ravine below, hidden in shrubs, fuchsias 
and huge towering rhododendrons. Overhead is 
a rumour of wind from the sea among the trees, 
and the sound of the hidden stream below 
enhances the dreamy enchantment of the place, 
its magic sense of oblivion and peace. Here 
Tennyson might have written the heavy sweet- 
ness of the lines of the Lotus-eaters : — 

Here are cool mosses deep 

And through the moss the ivies creep 

And in the stream the long-leaved flowers weep 

And from the rocky ledge the poppy hangs in sleep. 

The incantation thus woven is a clinging 
magic, and it follows the visitor as he goes down 
to where, among little wildernesses of hydran- 
geas and arum lilies here and there, he has 
glimpses of Cintra's trees and crags, of the sky 
through branches of tree above tree, or of the 
woods sloping to the sea ; and listens to the 
cooing of doves and the singing of many birds ; 
and walks through cedarn covers and palms and 
roses, choosing a path at random from the 
multitude of leaf-strewn ways ; and passes 
sinister ink-black pools and along spaces white 
and red and purple with fallen petals. 

Cintra is not to be seen in a single day ; a 

H 



08 IN PORTUGAL 

month of quiet sojourn there in summer goes 
all too swiftly. The woods of the cool serra, 

o caro Tejo e a fresca serra 
De Cintra (Lusiads, v. 3) ; 

the little village of Collares seven kilometres 
away, with its famous Ramisco vines ; the Praia 
das Mapas (Shore of Apples)!; the Cabo da Boca, 
western extremity of Portugal ; the cork 
convent where Honorius dwelt " in hope to merit 
Heaven by making earth a hell " ; the many 
quintas ; and, far and near, the " Elysian 
scenery," as "Vathek, England's wealthiest 
son," or, more prosaically, William Beckford, 
described it — all lure to spend here not weeks 
only, but years ; 

Sentado 
No musgo de tuas rochas escarpadas 
Esparciendo os olhos satisfeitos 
Por ceus por mares por montanhas, prados, 
Por quanto hi ha mais bello no Universo. 

— Almeida-Garrett, Camoes, v. xi. 

(Seated by mossy crags, with happy eyes 
Gazing on sky and sea, mountain and meadow, 
And all that in the world exists most fair.) 

Na serena docura 
Da maga solidao, n'esta belleza 
Vivamos para nris co'a natureza. 1 

(Here let us live with Nature to ourselves, 
Amid the loveliness, the serene peace 
Of this charmed solitude.) 

1 Lines written at Cintra by Almeida-Garrett in 1822. 



CHAPTER XIV 

MAFRA, ALCOBACA, ALJUBARROTA, BATALHA 

Yet Mafra shall one moment claim delay, 

Where dwelt of yore the Lusians' luckless queen, 

And church and court did mingle their array 

And mass and revel were alternate seen, 

Lordlings and freres — ill-sorted fry, I ween. — Byron. 

Que quern ha que por fama nao conhece 
As obras portuguezas singulares ? — Camoes. 

(For who knows not the fame of Portugal's high deeds ? ) 

THE village of Mafra is dwarfed by the 
immense convent, the largest but not 
the fairest building of Portugal. 
Built in the reign of Joao V., it is 
said to have cost over four million sterling and 
to have employed at one time 45,000 workmen, 
while the countless windows and doors are said 
to number respectively 2500 and 5200. It has 
been called the Escorial of Portugal, but it has 
none of the Escorial's mighty splendour. The 
whole convent, with the exception of the towers, 
is washed a light yellow and resembles a 
barracks, which it now actually is. A flock of 
brown sheep were grazing in the wide prapa in 
front of the Church's great six-pillared entrance, 
the shepherd sitting on the flight of low steps 

99 



100 IN PORTUGAL 

that, by their huge extent, give some idea of the 
vastness of the building. The Church is all of 
white and pink marble, of marble is even the 
caracol or winding-staircase up to the 114 bells 
and two huge clocks. 1 The prior of Chelleiros 2 
was preaching a sermon, the day being a festa, 
and groups of men, mostly soldiers, stood in the 
great church immediately beneath the pulpit, 
while women sat along the choir, and bright- 
dressed peasant-women knelt or sat in circles 
here and there on the floor. A procession 
followed, with boys in black and red cloaks, like 
devils, and little girls dressed up as angels, with 
blue and silver wings ; men dressed in red 
confraria capas and carrying long candles 
surrounded the umbrella and canopy beneath 
which walked the old prior of the church and 
two priests from other villages. 

The road from Mafra to Gradil passes a deep 
ravine, running down to Ericeira and the sea, 
and then through pinewoods and hills covered 
with whin, heather, myrtle and other shrubs. 
Little villages, groups of whitewashed, brown- 
roofed houses, lie in hollows of steep hills 
covered with maize and vines and a few olives. 
Clear streams, hedges of wild roses, borage, 

1 Said to have cost 400 contos each, and now kept in order by a 
man who receives G tostues a day. 

2 A quiet village ten kilometres from Mafra in a deep valley of 
hills covered with vines and maize and corn divided by rough walls 
of stones. 



MAFRA 101 

pink vetch and the glowing pink of the cistus 
flower give a quiet charm to the country. The 
road is almost deserted. Two long-faced thin- 
featured peasants pass, with black tasselled 
gorros and black sashes, carrying long sticks with 
ends of brass. A woman with brilliant pink 
skirt passes, running steadily from Ericeira to 
Gradil, some ten miles, and sometimes on to 
Torres Vedras, barefoot along the rough road in 
the full heat of the sun, with a great basket of 
sardinlias on her head. If she sells well she may 
earn as much as four or even five tostoes in the 
day, after which she has to return along the 
many miles of road to Ericeira. 

A few kilometres from Torres Vedras is a 
little village of houses pinkwashed or white with 
blue doors and windows ; on the iron balconies 
flower geraniums and carnations, and ivy gera- 
niums, vine-trellises and hydrangeas grow along 
small terraces. A shorter way to Torres Vedras 
cuts across a bare hill scented with flowers. It 
is a broad rough-paved stoneway between hedges 
of aloes and wild roses, with a splendid view of 
a circle of hills, vineyards and small villages and 
on the other side the sea. Torres Vedras itself 
is a villa, below a hill with a small white church 
(Sa?ita Maria do Castello), some olives and old 
ruinous walls, the Serra do Montejunto lying to 
the East. The road to Caldas da Rainha passes 
among moors and pinewoods, and, after Caldas, 



102 IN PORTUGAL 

more pines grow along the coast, graceful tufted 
single pines, or pines continuous along the 
horizon ; here a low level line of dark hills is 
seen through thousands of pine stems, there white 
sand-dunes appear, still among pines. A silver 
stream flows seawards, and two ranges of 
dark hills, on some of which stand small wind- 
mills, together form the land-locked bay of Sao 
Martinho beneath a lion-shaped cliff. From 
Vallado dos Frades a wild carreira, 1 a kind 
of omnibus, proceeds furiously to Alcobaca, 
going crabwise with great leaps and bounds and 
lurches. 

Alcobaca lies in a hollow of hills and valleys 
of vines, olives, fruit-trees, wheat and maize and 
tall hedges of reeds, with some dark pinewoods ; 
to the West pinewoods, Vallado, Nazareth and 
the sea, to the East the bare brown Serra dos 
Candieiros. The swift stream Alcoba gives a 
coolness to its sunny hollow, and on the other 
side flows the Baca. The Alcoba passes the 
Monastery and a branch of it flows beneath the 
building, so that the damp covers with green a 
large part of the paved floor, some of the pillars 
and a whole tomb in the Capella dos Tumulos. 
From the road above Alcobaca, the brown and 
grey monastery appears in size equivalent to the 
rest of the village ; it fronts a low line of 

1 Carreira really means 'course' or 'road,' but is thus anto- 
nomastically used of the vehicle that goes along the road. 



ALCOBAQA 103 

iron-balconied houses backed by a hill of olives 
and vines and fruit-trees. 

The Monastery of Alcobaca was built by 
Affonso Henriques, first King of Portugal, and 
was finished in 1222, more than a century and a 
half before the battle of Aljubarrota. The in- 
terior of its church, over three hundred feet long, 
is of a severe and marvellous beauty, the per- 
fectly plain pillars, twenty-four in number and 
over sixty feet high, going up to the very roof 
and dividing the nave from two very narrow side 
aisles. In the Sala dos Reis stand the statues 
of the early Kings of Portugal, including 
Dionysius I., King Diniz (1279-1325), the only 
Portuguese king of that name, who built the 
splendid cloister. Here, too, is a huge bronze 
bowl or urn taken in the battle of Aljubarrota, 
which served to cook the dinners of the Spanish 
army and is said to weigh nearly a thousand 
pounds. The Claustro de Dom Diniz surrounds 
a garden of roses, carnations, dahlias, hollyhocks 
with pillars of an exquisite beauty ; the many- 
pillared Sala Capitular looks out on to a second 
garden and on the pavement at its entrance is 
the image of a geral of the Order of Cistercians 
buried there ' yor humildade ' that all who went 
out and in might step upon him. Along the 
cloister- walls are ancient inscriptions, some of the 
thirteenth century; on one side the beautiful 
pillared lavatorio has an ancient font of water with 



104 IN PORTUGAL 

maidenhair ferns, and opposite is another pillared 
recess from which a stair went to the cloister's 
upper storey. The wealth of flowers sets in 
relief the austere beauty of the pillars ; full of 
flowers too is the little cemetery in front of the 
chapel of JVossa Senliora do Desterro. 

The beautiful church has no part more beauti- 
ful than the Capella dos Tumulos, a little chapel 
of plain Gothic arches, with exquisitely sculp- 
tured capitals, containing on the right the tombs 
of Queen Beatriz and King Pedro, on the left 
that of Dona Ignez and in a corner the rougher 
tombs of the three children of Pedro and Ignez. 
On the tomb of Dona Ignez, at the end facing 
that of Dora Pedro, is sculptured the Last 
Judgment. A stately procession winds up a 
path to heaven, with arms upraised in joyful 
praise ; below, the same path is steeper, and a 
less serene, more motley company of figures goes 
toppling down to Hell ; beneath is a throng in 
Purgatory. At the other end of the tomb is 
sculptured the Crucifixion, and along both sides 
scenes in the life of Christ, among many others 
those of the Last Supper, the Betrayal, the 
Garden of Gethsemane, the Washing of Pilate's 
Hands (the water poured from a single-handled 
bilha of present-day shape). All these scenes are 
given in marvellous detail, plain in its intricacy ; 
just as the Church and cloister have an air of 
simple austerity in spite of the infinite richness 



ALCOBAgA 105 

and variety of their sculpture. On these tombs 
are tiny rose-windows and arches, all carved 
with many a minute design, while many of the 
figures a few inches high have an expression 
of clearly marked character. The end of King 
Pedro's tomb facing that of Dona Ignez repre- 
sents the last scenes in the King's life, the sides 
give episodes from the life of Sao Bartholomeu, 
saint of his especial devotion, and above these, all 
along the sides, are tiny groups of Dom Pedro 
and Dona Ignez, Dom Pedro and his Father, 
Dona Ignez and Dona Constanca, and others. 
The further end is sculptured in the form of a 
rose-window, marvellously detailed and distinct, 
hidden away against the wall of the Chapel. It 
represents scenes in the life and death of Dona 
Ignez, Dom Pedro and Dona Ignez reading 
together from one book like the lovers of 
Dante — 

Noi leggiavamo un giorno per diletto — 

the death of Dona Ignez at the Fonte dos Amoves 
at Coimbra, the execution at Santarem of two of 
her assassins ; and many another tiny scene, all 
so clearly chiselled and delightfully expressed in 
stone that here even more than at Coimbra one 
may feel the full sadness of her fate and the 
prince's undying sorrow. 

Ignez de Castro was the betrothed of Pedro 
(son of King Affonso IV. of Portugal), who, 



106 IN PORTUGAL 

after the death of his first wife, Dona Constanca, 
refused to marry as his father wished, although 
he kept his marriage to Ignez secret. The 
Portuguese nobility thereupon pressed the King 
to consent to the death of Ignez ; he consented, 
relented and then half consented, and she was 
murdered at Coimbra on the 7th of January, 
1355. Succeeding to the throne in 1357, Dom 
Pedro had not forgotten, and two of the noble 
murderers were seized in Castille 1 and bar- 
barously executed at Santarem. Moreover, he 
set the corpse of his betrothed crowned on a 
throne to receive the homage, the beijamao, of 
the nobles (so that Camoes could say of Ignez 
that " she reigned after her death — depois de ser 
morta foi rainha "), certain of whom were then 
ordered to carry her to burial at Alcobaca. 2 
Camoes has set forth her death in not the least 
beautiful verses of the Lusiads : — 

Para o ceo crystalline* alevantando 

Com lagrimas os olhos piedosos, 
Os olhos, porque as maos lhe estava atando 

Um dos duros ministros rigorosos. — (iii. 125.) 
(To the clear heaven she lifts her tearful eyes 

While they relentlessly her hands are binding.) 

1 The third happened to be out hunting and so escaped, a poor 
man to whom he daily gave alms warning him. " And the same 
poor man advised him to dress in old clothes and go thus on foot 
along the road that leads to Aragon, and to hire himself to the first 
carriers (almocreves) he should meet. And this he did and escaped, 
and readied Aragon and thence France." — Chronica de Dom Pedro. 

2 The seventeen leagues of road from Coimbra to Alcobaca were 
lined for the procession by men carrying torches, a thousand to the 
league. 



ALCOBAgA 107 

Assi corao a bonina que cortada 

Antes do tempo foi, Candida e bella, 
Sendo das maos lascivas maltratada 

Da menina que a trouxe na capella 
cheiro traz perdido e a cor murchada: 

Tal esta morta a pallida donzella, 
Seccas do rosto as rosas e perdida 

A branca e viva cor co'a doce vida. — (iii. 134.) 

(Rough translation: — 

As in girl's thoughtless fingers withered 

A fair white flower, plucked before its time 
To lie crushed idly upon breast or head. 

Loses the scent and colour of its prime, 
So now the pale young maiden lieth dead, 

The roses from her face a cruel crime 
Has banished, and the living hue is gone 

With ebbiug life that once there clearly shone.) 

Before Camoes (1525-1580) Garcia de 
Resende (1470-1536) had sung her death in his 
quaint and vivid Trovas d morte de Dona Ines 
de Castro: 

Eu era moca menina, 
Por nome Dona Ines 
De Crasto, e de tal doutrina 
E vertudes qu'era dina 
De meu mal ao reve's. 1 

As she sat at leisure, with sad thoughts far 
from her mind, in her palace at Coimbra she 
saw the King come riding "pelos campos do 
Mondego " and alight at her door, and her heart 
misgave her : 

Estava muito acatada, 
Como princesa servida, 

1 I was a young maiden, Dona Ines de Crasto by name, in my 
piety and virtues deserving the very contrary of my fate. 



108 IN PORTUGAL 

Em meus pacos mui honrada, 
De tudo mui abastada, 
De meu senhor mui querida. 
Estando mui de vagar 
Bern fdra de tal cuidar, 
Em Coimbra d'assessego, 
Pelos campos do Mondego 
Cavaleiros vi assomar. 

Como cousas que hao de ser 
Logo dao no coracao, 
Comecei entristecer 
E commigo so dizer : 
* Estes omens onde irSo ? 
E tanto que preguntei ; 
Soube logo que era el rei. 
Quando o vi tarn apressado 
Meu coracao trespassado 
Foi, que nunca mais falei. 

E quando vi que decia 
Sabi d porta da sala, 
Devinbando o que queria ; 
Com gram choro e cortesia 
Lbe fiz uma triste fala. 
Meus filhos pus derredor 
De mini com gram humildade, 
Mui cortada de temor 
Lhe disse : ' Havei, senhor, 
D'esta triste piedade. . . . 

. . . Havei do, senhor, de mim, 
Nao me deis tam triste fim 
Pois que nunca fiz maldade. 

(Greatly was I respected, and served as a princess, greatly 
honoured in my palace, well supplied with everything, and well 
loved by my lord. Being one day at leisure, far from thought of 
any such grief, quietly in Coimbra, I saw horsemen appear in the 
plains of the Mondego. And as things that are to be strike with 
warning on the heart, I began to grow sad, and alone with myself to 
say : ' Where can these men be going ? ' so that I even nude 
inquiry, and thus learnt that it was the King. When I saw that he 
came in such haste my heart was pierced, so that not another word I 



ALCOBAQA 109 

spoke. And when I saw that he was alighting from his horse I went 
out to the door of the hall, guessing for what he came, and with 
great weeping and courtesies spoke sadly to him. Humbly, my 
children round me, and fearfully I spoke : ' Have pity, Sir, on 
me. . . . Have mercy, Sir, and give me not so sad an end, since I 
have done no evil.') 

The King is moved by her to relent, but the 
nobles taunt him with being " changed from his 
purpose by a woman's tears," and foretell " muita 
guerra com Castella," till the King tells them, 
weak and cowardly, to do the deed if it must be 
done, but not to tell him of it since he saw no 
reason for her death : — 

Se o vds quereis fazer 
Fazei-o sem m'o dizer, 
Qu'eu nisso nao mando nada 
Nem vejo a essa coitada 
Porque deva de morrer. 

(If you would do the deed, do it without telling me, for I in 
this give no command and see no reason why the poor girl must 
die.) 

The tombs at Alcobaca are fully worthy of 
these noble verses. Their sculpture has in some 
degree the imaginative power and splendour of 
conception, the clear and serene workmanship, 
the exquisite details, the mediaeval quaintnesses 
that characterize the Divina Commcdia, Portugal 
may have more famous buildings, but none can 
show more delightful sculpture than this Cistercian 
Mosteiro de Santa Maria, nor rival it in the simple 
Gothic magnificence of its church and cloister. 
The combined effect of the severe architecture 



110 IN PORTUGAL 

and the incomparable minute sculpture of the 
capitals is, indeed, wonderfully beautiful. The 
wealth and power of the monks was great, their 
influence extended over the whole wide valley 
and they gave their name to Vallado dos Frades 
nearly five miles away. Now the monastery is 
occupied by a regiment of soldiers, part of it 
serving as the cadeia, from which the prisoners 
look through bars into the village street. 

The road from Alcobaca winds up a long hill 
and is bordered by deep hedges of aloe and black- 
berry and honeysuckle, wild vine and wild roses. 
The many wells 1 are conspicuous, owing to their 
giant fishing-rods, the rod a rough trunk of pine, 
the line a thinner pole with a vessel hooked at 
the end for drawing up the water. Little sleepy 
ve?idas, with shelves of tiny white cheeses 
(queijinhos), sell wine and brandy (in bilkas from 
Caldas da Rainha) and lemonade manufactured 
at Alcobaca. After a few kilometres the road 
narrows into the street of the small village of 
Aljubarrota with its ancient sculptured crosses, 
and a Latin inscription on the house of Brites, 2 
the heroic padeira (baker) of the battle of 

1 In many parts of Portugal are noras, wells similar to the nurias 
of Valencia and Andalucia, from which the water is drawn by a mule 
or donkey turning a great wheel of earthenware jars. Near Coimbra 
is to be seen a nora of a different kind, the jars and wheel being 
replaced by tins on iron chains, and, as if to accentuate the 
difference, the necessary turning is done by an ox, while the well, 
instead of being in the open, is beneath a tiled roof. 

- The same name as Beatrice. 



Jr 



ALJUBARROTA 111 

Yljubarrota, who is said to have slain seven 
Castilians with her pd (Span, pala, 'wooden 
shovel'). The battle, in which John 1. of 
Portugal routed John I. of Spain, was fought on 
the 14th of August, 1385 :— 

Aqui a fera batallia se encruece 
Com mortes, gritos, sangue e cutilaclas, 
A multidao da gente que perece 
Tern as flores da propria cor mudadas, 
J£ as costas dao e as vidas, ja fallece 
O furor e sobejam as lancadas ; 
J£ de Castella o Rei desbaratado 
Se ve, e de seu proposito mudado. 

— Camoes, Lusiads, iv. 42. 

(But here the battle deepens, with many a death, 
Clamour, and shedding of blood, and furious thrust, 
At sight of thousands yielding their last breath 
Men pale and flee, but still they bite the dust, 
For now they fall the serried spears beneath 
Although of slaying dies their frenzied lust ; 
And now Castilla's King, of victory cheated, 
Sees all his army melt, his plans defeated.) 

The monastery of Santa Maria da Victoria 
at Batalha 1 was the result. The road from 
Aljubarrota passes on through mile on mile of 
scented pine woods, the bleak Serra dos Candieiros 
to the left. Batalha in a deep hollow, hidden 
below pines and olives, suddenly appears in the 
infinity of its grey traceries and pinnacles and 
light flying-buttresses. Below, it is mostly 
yellow ; it is built of a stone which at first is 
white as snow, but with time turns, in the sun 

1 Cf. ' Battle ' Abbey. 



112 IN TORTUGAL 

and rain, or even when sheltered from the 
weather, to grey or yellow — in many parts it is 
yellow like ripe corn, or like the recently stripped 
trunks of cork-trees. The restored Apostles at 
the entrance are slowly yellowing in their daily 
sunbath ; some of their maimed veteran prede- 
cessors may be seen in the interior. The effect 
of the interior of the church, simple and austere 
— the single pillars, clustered pillars and tall 
narrow Gothic arches, and the large beautifully 
framed windows — is most striking and magnifi- 
cent. Swallows circle with shrill cries round 
pillar and capital, and Dom Duarte and Dona 
Leonor gaze up at them carved in stone. The 
window above the entrance and those above the 
altar mbr and the small figures in the centre of 
the side-windows are of fine old stained glass, 
deep-coloured ; but the other windows, those of 
the Chapel of the Founder, Joao I. and his wife, 1 
and, unhappily, all but the tiny central figures of 
the side-windows are of very bad and ugly 
modern glass, a sacrilege in such frames and an 
insult to so fair a building. 

The Claustro Real is Manueline, with a 
Gothic Sola do Capitulo, in one corner of which 
hangs, as a corbel, a little statue said to be that 
of Affonso Domingues, 2 first architect of Batalha. 

1 Philippa of Lancaster, daughter of John of Gaunt. 

2 He died at the end of the 14th or beginning of the 15th century. 
For a romantic account of his last years and death see Alexandre 
Herculano, Lendas e Narrutivas. 



BATALHA 113 

holding a ruler in his left hand. In the Capellas 
Imperfeitas, as in the Claustro Real, crowd the 
chains, cables and globes of the arte Manuelina. 
One cannot call these ' Unfinished Chapels ' 
beautiful, yet they are beautiful ; certainly 
beautiful in their details if not as a whole. One 
Manueline arch (po?*tal), especially, is a riot of 
fanciful design with an immense richness of 
varied detail ; but it has the effect rather of 
satisfied abundance than of restless tortured 
striving, it is almost placid in spite of its incred- 
ible and overwhelming intricacy, as it were a rich 
harvest of many fruits in stone. The delicate 
traceries that make the stone to blossom like the 
rose, the infinity of slenderly chiselled patterns, 
the luxuriance in design and the minute care in 
execution, make the study of this arch alone a 
delightful task of many hours. The Monastery 
of Batalha is of immense size, and the passing 
visitor must be torn between two desires, that of 
spending his whole time looking at the outside 
and that of spending his whole time looking at 
the inside of the building. It is no slight charm 
of Batalha, as of Alcobaca and of Mafra, that the 
village has an appearance of being still as it were 
a dependency of the Convent, and has not 
acquired any pretensions of its own. 




CHAPTER XV 

KING DINIZ AND LEIIIIA ON THE LIZ 

Rei que reis fez e desfez. — Francisco de Sa. dk Miranda, 
of King Diniz. (King who made and unmade Kings.) 

ETWEEN Batalha and Leiria are more 
scented pinewoods, planted by King 
Diniz or Denis, one of the most 
original and strangely attractive 
characters among the early Portuguese kings. 
He is said to have been avaricious, 1 he was 
certainly an autocrat ; and probably, when he 
refused to spend money as other people wished, 
they called him a miser ; we read of him that 
" fiz quanto quiz — he acted according to his 
heart's desire." It was he, says the legend, who 
forebade his wife, the Queen-Saint Elizabeth, to 
give alms to the poor ; she, however, continued 
in her charity, and upon a famous occasion her 
crusts were miraculously turned to roses, and 
she escaped the wrath of King Diniz. 2 But 
certainly we cannot quarrel with the parsimony 
of a king who ordered such works as the cloister 
at Alcobaca, the castle above Leiria and the pine 

1 The Chronica del Rei Dom Dinis, however, notes especially, 
among many other virtues, his truthfulness, justice and liberality. 

2 See Chapter XXII. 

114 



LEIRIA 115 

forest in its neighbourhood ; and, if we may 
believe the poet Francisco de Sa de Miranda, 
who died in 1.558, he was a man excellent and 
just and feared God : — 

alto e excellente 
Dom Denis, rei tarn louvado, 
Tarn justo, a Deus tarn temente. 

(High and excellent Dom Denis, a king whose praises have heen 
so often sung, a king so just and one so fearing God.) 

Moreover, he protected agriculture and built 
strongholds far and wide through the country. 
Of him Camoes wrote that he rebuilt noble 
towns and renewed the whole realm with 
fortresses and walls and castles : — 

Nobres villas de novo edificou, 
Fortalezas, castellos mui seguros, 
E quasi o reino todo renovou 
Com edificios grandes e altos muros. 

And he was a poet, the first 1 celebrated lyric 
poet of Portugal. 

The little town of Leiria is in the valley of 
the Liz. Shady walks line the margin of the 
swift-flowing river in the town, and, immediately 
outside, the Liz passes with many white falls 
and rapids through willows and reeds and alders, 
along little terraces and gardens of fruits and 
vegetables and flowers, vines and maize. 
Women stand in the water perpetually washing 

1 " Quasi o primeiro,' says the Chronicle ; ' ' el primero," says 
Lope de Vega. He was really one of the later provencal-Portuguese 
poets. 



11 G IN PORTUGAL 

clothes, and women and girls in bright reds and 
yellows crowd to the great chqfariz near the 
river and, setting their tall graceful red bilhas, 
sometimes half the girl's height, upon its marble 
balustrade, gossip, and then separate in groups 
of two and three on their various ways. They 
carry the great jars on their heads to all parts 
of the town, up steep cobbled streets, and out 
through fields of wheat and vine, and up to the 
houses about the Castle, which stands sheer 
above the town on its high hill of grey and 
yellow-lichened rock and tall-flowering aloes. 

A narrow, cobbled street goes up through 
houses of many levels, with little terraces of 
flowers and fruit-trees, and then under an arch- 
way to an old irregular square in which the 
beautiful entrance-arch of a church, half-hidden 
in cherry-trees, seems to be crumbling and 
melting away like salt, one of its pillars now in 
parts scarcely more than an inch thick. A 
small part of the huge ruined castle of Dom 
Diniz remains entire, groined ceiling, tall 
narrow-arched windows and beautiful capitals ; 
and every here and there, in walls overgrown 
with snapdragon and other plants, one may 
come upon lovely fragments of windows or 
arches and a great coat of arms. Through 
glassless windows, beautiful as those of Batalha, 
appeared the cloudless sunset sky. A thrush 
was singing below in the olives. Hundreds of 



LEIRIA 117 

feet immediately beneath the Castle the town 
was busy in its evening life. Slow ox-carts and 
loaded diligencias were coming in, noiseless 
apparently ; labourers returned, pioche on 
shoulder, from the fields ; women came from the 
river with baskets of washing or with bilhas 
from the fountain. Black-gowned students and 
grey soldiers sauntered along the riverwalks, and 
the less energetic sat at their windows after the 
heat of the day. In a narrow street on the way 
down from the Castle children were burning 
candle-ends set among flowers to a tiny paper 
Saint who ran great peril of cremation. Every- 
where was a sense of peace, and even in these 
narrower streets a feeling of the open country. 
For, lying among wooded hills, many of them 
crowned by a white church, Leiria has an air 
and scent of many trees and open fields, a 
little town pleasant in itself and in the country 
that surrounds it. 




CHAPTER XVI 

FROM LEIRIA TO THOMAR AND BEIRA BAIXA 

O uome ufano 
Do bellicoso reino lusitano. — Camoes. 

(The proud name of Lusitania's warlike realm.) 

|OME thirty miles of road, blindingly 
white in a summer calma* lead through 
pine woods with wide intervals of corn 
from Leiria to Thomar. Little villages 
are set high in the hills with far views of range 
upon range of more hills beyond. Quinta de 
Sardinha, a wretched hamlet, has its monthly 
market under olive-trees, to which the farmers 
troop along the road on donkeys from far and 
near, many of them holding little black umbrellas 
against the sun. The little inn of the village is 
then crowded with peasants and farmers and 
with women wearing red or red and yellow 
kerchiefs, gold earrings, chains and necklaces ; 
and a theological student from Coimbra, or, 
rather, the theological student of the village, in 
antique black and canvas shirt and flowing bow 
tie, converses with them in the inn with an air 

1 A calma is when the sun, though perhaps slightly veiled in a 
mist of heat, glares with an overwhelming might, and the air is 
breathless. 

118 



FROM LEIRIA TO THOMAR 119 

of friendly and benign superiority. The road 
passes through the little town of Villa Nova de 
Ourem, crosses the railway line at Chao das 
Macas (Plain of Apples), where are quarries 
and stores of pine-timber but no sign of apples, 
and at length the massive building of Thomar's 
convent appears on its hill of olives. 

Thomar is a little town of many small shops 
and several paper factories and one of cotton, 
lying on the river Nabao and all encircled with 
green. Clean rough-cobbled streets, mostly 
without pavements, lead from the white and 
black paved Praca da Republica with its trees and 
pclourinho, its vegetable market on the cobbles, 
and the sharp-towered, fair-arched church of Sao 
Joao Baptista. Thomar has many other churches 
of many different periods, Santa Maria do Olival 
which contains the tomb of the Grand Master of 
the Templars, Gualdim Paes, who built the 
church in the twelfth century, the sixteenth- 
century church of Nossa Senhora da Conceipao, 
the seventeenth- century Nossa Senhora da 
Piedade to which steps climb up the whole of its 
steep hill outside the town. A rough-cobbled 
way leads up to the Convent of the Templars. 
On a dull morning birds sing quietly in the 
olives. Women, wearing long scarlet kerchiefs, 
were reaping with gleaming sickles a field of 
corn, bordered by aloes, immediately below the 
Convent, where an old ruined castle of yellow 



120 IN PORTUGAL 

stone fronts the yellow-lichened tower of a 
chapel, also in ruins. 

At the entrance of the Convent itself is a 
Latin inscription in quaint ancient characters. 
It tells how in 1208 the King of Morocco 
besieged the castle " with 400,000 horse and 
500,000 foot," and was defeated by the Templars, 
commanded by Gualdim Paes (or Gual Dimpaes). 
The exterior of the church by Joao de Castilho 
shows the arte Manuelina at its best. The rose- 
window (above the little cloister of Santa 
Barbara) is of sails marvellously carved in stone ; 
to the right the Garter, to the left a mighty 
chain bind trees together, their roots showing 
below, and the windows along the church are all 
set in coral. Coral and trees, chain and sails are 
all sculptured with a certain fantastic fitness and 
grandeur and even beauty. The interior of the 
church is magnificently simple, in spite of the 
Manueline ropes down the pillars of its windows. 
Indeed, the sculptured ropes and armillary 
spheres are so common in the Convent that they 
are often scarcely noticed, and some of the 
twisted ropes of stone are so tiny that they are 
scarcely seen. The carved stalls of this wonder- 
fully beautiful church disappeared during the 
French invasion. A Manueline arch leads into 
the original round church of the Templars ; it 
now has Manueline additions, and the pillars 
have been painted and the capitals gilt. 



THOMAR 121 

The Convent has no less than eight cloisters, 
a confusion of courts and passages. That of 
Dom Henrique ('the Seafarer,' who was Grand 
Master for many years till his death in 1460) is 
of plain Gothic arches of double pillars, with 
beautifully sculptured capitals, and contains the 
tomb of Diogo da Gama, brother; of Vasco. 
Beyond the cloister of Santa Barbara and the 
cloister of Joao III., " rei de muitos reis — king of 
many kings," is yet another cloister, das Hospc- 
darias, where a few officers have rooms. From 
the upper gallery of the Cloister of Dom Joao 
III., a door opens on to a stone terrace with a 
low balustrade of plain stone, along the top of 
which runs a tiny hollowed channel of 
water. From this terrace there is a view exquis- 
itely beautiful of the Quinta dos Sete Monies 
(the Seven Hills), soft wooded hills of olive and 
pine and cypress, while immediately below is the 
former Convent-garden, full of fruits and flowers, 
now belonging to the Conde de Thomar. 

Thomar is not many miles from the Tagus 
and Abrantes, the little town of Junot's title, 
standing on a steep hill above the Tagus and 
looking across the river valley to the hills that 
extend towards Spain. From Abrantes a road 
of over a hundred kilometres goes, half in Ex- 
tremadura, half in Beira Baixa, to Castello 
Branco. Near Abrantes it goes between immense 
hedges of myrtle and blackberry and honeysuckle 



122 IN PORTUGAL 

with white and glowing pink cistus flowers, fox- 
gloves, chicory, and thistles purple and pink, 
thistles blue and white and yellow ; later through 
olives and corktrees, and then endless pine-covered 
hills, with occasional glimpses of distant blue 
plains and mountains. The little sun-burnt 
villages are picturesque and miserable, without 
window-frames, without chimneys, mostly un- 
whitewashed, of yellow stone with brown roofs 
in olive trees. Sobreira, the most considerable 
of these villages, has its Largo da Republica 
and its Rua Machado Santos, but is largely 
without glass or chimneys ; walls over which 
trail ivy-geranium, plumbago and wistaria make 
the village beautiful. At the back of the inn, 
from the little square window of the room which 
is stable and kitchen and dining-room in one, 
the view of the valley is wide and lovely and the 
Serra da Estrella is seen a faint grey-blue in the 
distance. 

The men wear short jackets of black or 
brown, or perhaps of olive-coloured velvet with 
gold buttons. Tall and thin-featured, their hats 
in size rival those to be seen at Elvas, but they 
have not the great whiskers of Alemtejo, being 
mostly clean-shaven. The women have pleasant, 
clean-cut, kindly faces. In Beira Baixa the 
pinewoods give way to wilder, more treeless 
hills, with little strips of maize and vegetables 
along the streams. These cultivated strips are 



BEIRA BAIXA 123 

watered from the streams by means of a curious 
wooden scoop at the end of a long pole, the man 
or woman standing in the stream and hurling 
the water sideways, often across a wall, on to the 
crops. 

Still more treeless grows the country before 
Castello Branco (besides high-lying Guarda the 
only town of Beira Baixa), until the hills are 
entirely bare, covered only with cistus. A 
tributary of the river Ocresa, and ultimately of 
the Tagus, flows through irregular backbones of 
cistus-covered hills, recalling the Bidasoa. The 
road is closely edged with many-flowered myrtle ; 
the road, indeed, during all its sixty-five miles 
cuts its way through cistus and other hill-plants 
pressing so thickly that it would seem as if, 
upon the least neglect of the ca?ito?ieiros, they 
would swallow the road in their heavy-scented 
growth. Near Castello Branco are some chest- 
nuts and vines, allowed here, as in Minho, to 
climb throttling over fruit-trees, and field after 
field of corn. On a hill grazes a huge flock of 
white sheep, the brown-dressed, broad-hatted 
shepherd outlined on the sky ; through a field of 
golden-ripe corn goes a peasant girl, wearing 
kerchief and skirt of red. On its hill Castello 
Branco gleams white across the plain, although 
its low houses are washed in many hues ; the 
town itself has many trees and gardens, but the 
plain all round is treeless. 



CHAPTER XVII 

PINEWOODS OF EXTREMADURA 

Ay flores, ay flores do verde pino, 
Se sabedes novas do meu amigo ? 
Ay Deus ! ehue? 

Ay flores, ay flores do verde ramo, 
Se sabedes novas do meu am ado ? 
Ay Deus ! ehue? 

— Cantar de Amigo by King Dinis. 

Flower, flower of the green pine-tree. 
Can you not tell me where he be ? 
Heavens, where is my love ? 
Flower, flower of the branches green, 
My beloved have you not seen ? 
Ah, Heavens, where is he ?) 

THE pine-tree is never for many miles 
absent in Portugal ; it is to be found 
among the fruit-trees of Algarve and 
in the charnecas of Alemtejo ; it 
covers the sand-dunes of Douro and the hills of 
Minho. But the pinewoods of Extremadura 
have a peculiar magnificence, and especially 
those around Leiria, whether on the way from 
Batalha to Leiria or on the way from Leiria to 
Thomar. Their pleasant scented shade is ever 
welcome. Little earthenware pots on the 
ground fill with resin ; sometimes there are four 

124 



PINEWOODS OF EXTREMADURA 125 

to a tree but always on the ground, never fixed 
to the tree as in the Landes of the South of 
France, whence the trees for the forest round 
Leiria came. Above the thick pines the sky is 
cloudless, and beneath is a red carpet of heather. 
Now and then a cone falls lazily in the breathless 
afternoonor, a dry sound is heard of hidden birds 
tapping the cones with their beaks high in the 
trees. In a clearing a man is slowly kneading 
red clay to make tiles, and in the distance sounds 
the droning « song ' of cart-wheels. Never do 
the bright blues and reds and yellows of the 
peasant women's dresses show more brightly 
than as they pass through these woods of dark 
pine. 

Here on a day of sultry heat, when the dust 
is hurled in sudden gusts along the pitilessly 
white road, a refuge of cool shade is found in 
deep colonnaded avenues and slippery glades of 
needles and heather. Here, too, those who have 
learnt the terrible hardness of the Portuguese 
beds may pleasantly spend a short June night, 
with greater chance of sleep. The pinestems 
sweep upwards like pillars of Batalha, framed in 
a cloudless sunset sky that fades from brown-red 
to green and saffron, and overhead to a soft 
blue-grey, set with a few faint stars. Or on one 
side of a golden sunset a misty distant plain lies 
grey and purple under a sky of clearest green, 
and to the East the pinewoods slope upwards 



126 IN PORTUGAL 

against a sky of the softest imaginable blue, faint 
and dreaming. Eca de Queiroz speaks some- 
where of " um sumptuoso ceo de verao tao cheio 
de estrellas que todo elle parecia uma densa 
poeirada d'oiro vivo suspensa immovel por cima 
dos montes negros — a splendid summer sky- 
so full of stars that the whole of it seemed a 
thick dust of living gold hung motionless above 
the dark mountains." But often the summer 
sky in Portugal by night scarcely seems to lose 
its clear softness of day ; the stars appear lightly 
set without intensity, a faint mist of sprinkled 
silver sinking into a yielding woof of grey rather 
than, as, for instance, in Andalucia, hard knobs 
of glowing gold thronging in a sky of deepest 
blue. 

The traveller from his bed of heather heaped 
in his mighty halls of pinestems, may watch 
through the Gothic arches the marvel of chang- 
ing colours in the West and all the miracle of the 
light of a day that dies. All is so still that it 
seems as if the whole world has stopped to look 
on, " breathless in adoration " ; only a peasant 
returns slowly from his work and women in dull 
browns and reds and greens go up steep paths 
with bilhas or great loads of new-cut grass on 
their heads. From below comes a tinkling of 
goat bells and distant shouts, and the croaking 
of frogs somewhere in the valley ; then all 
merges into a silence of growing shadows and 



PINEWOODS OF EXTREMADURA 127 

the magic of " a pure June midnight's scented 
soul " : — 

A horas y en lugar 

Que esten solas las estrellas 

De presente, 

Los arboles sin lunar. 1 

(Tlie place and hour when stars alone are near and all the trees 
are dark.) 



1 Gil Vicente. The Spanish lunar in its commonest meaning 
(mole) is far from a poetical , word, but it is here used for the 
Portuguese luar (moonlight). 



CHAPTER XVIII 

THE SERRA DA ESTRELLA 

Mungem suas ovelhas cento a cento. — Camoes. 

O Lusitania senora 
Tu te puedes alabar 
De desposada dichosa 

Y pampano de la rosa 

Y sirena de la mar ; 
Frescura de las verduras, 
Rocio de la alvorada, 
Perla bien aventurada, 
Estrella de las alturas, 
Garza blanca namorada. 

— Gil Vicente, Auto da Lusitania, 

THE Serra da Estrella, in Beira Baixa, 
is the highest mountain range in 
Portugal, rising above Manteigas to a 
height of 1993 metres, and the 
peasants further South tell with awe of the snows 
that fall there every year, and of the serpents of 
the Serra with eyes as large as a dez rcis piece. 
The Serra do Gcrez further North in Alto Minho 
and Traz-os-Montes is perhaps more beautiful, 
having many woods, and slopes covered in; early 
summer with rhododendrons. Its height is 1507 
metres (Mt. Carris) and it runs in a South- West 
direction for some twenty miles, from the village 
of Pitas to the river Caldo. Gerez, or Caldas do 

128 



THE SERRA DA ESTRELLA 129 

Gerez, is a little village of two or three hundred 
inhabitants, but is visited by many hundreds 
every year on account of its waters. From 
there one may cross the Serra to Portella do 
Homem or to Ponte Friat The transmontane 
part of the Serra do Gerez is wilder, but in 
Minho it is thickly wooded, oaks growing at a 
height of over 3500 feet. But the Serra da 
Estrella is the very heart of Portugal ; here one 
may find the true Portuguese character 
untouched by civilization — a noble simplicity, 
vigour, courage, courtesy. 

Strabo l quaintly says of the Lusitanians of 
the mountains that " they live principally upon 
goats, and they sacrifice a goat to Mars and also 
their prisoners, and horses." Although they no 
longer sacrifice to Mars, in many respects the 
inhabitants of the Serra have altered little 
through the centuries. The spirit of Gil Vicente 
(? 1470-1539 or 1540) still appears to haunt these 
hills ; the peasants and charcoal burners and 
herdsmen, living an open-air life far removed 
from newspapers and books, preserve his joyous 
humour and simple faith, and seem to echo his 
praise of the Criador liberal : — 

Com gloria mui sem trabalho 
Fartas os mares e rios 
E as hervas de rocios 

1 Tpayo<payovat 5t fi.d\i<TTa icai t<£ "Apti rpdyov Qiiovai /col r ovs alxi^-a- 
kurovs teal twxovs. 



130 IN PORTUGAL 

E os lirios de orvalho 
Nos logares mais sombrios. 

(In glory without toil Thou fillest 
Seas and river streams, 
And, where no light beams, 
For the lilies dew distillest, 
And the drenched grass gleams.) 

or his shepherd's vilancete : — 

Adorae montanhas 
O Deos das alturas, 
Tambem as verduras, 
Adorae desertos 
E serras floridas 
O Deos dos secretos, 
O Senhor das vidas ; 
Ribeiras crescidas 
Louvae nas alturas 
Deos das creaturas. 
Louvae arvoredos 
De fructo presado, 
Digao os penedos : 
Deos seja louvado. 
E louve meu gado 
Nestas verduras 
O Deos das alturas. 

(Obras de Gil Vicente. Hamburgo, 1834. Roughly translated 
Ye mountains adore, 
And all green places, 
The Lord on high ; 
Bless Him desert spaces 
And ye flowered hills 
His praises cry, 
God of breath who fills 
With life the secret ways ; 
Praise Him, ye deep streams, praise 
On high evermore. 
Praise Him ye trees, 
That fruit downweighs, 
Let the rocks say : 



THE SERRA DA ESTRELLA 131 

To God be praise. 
And my flocks shall raise 
In these pastures green 
Song to God unseen.) 

In his Tragicomedia pastoiil da Serra da 
Estrella the Serra appears as a shepherdess in 
Coimbra, as a mountain shepherdess of Beira, her 
abode : — 

Em figura de pastora 
Feita serrana da Beira 
Como quern na Beira mora, 

and offers gifts to the Queen : cheeses and calves 
and lambs of Cea, 1 chestnuts of Gouvea, 2 milk 
"for fourteen years " from Manteigas and cloth 
from Covilha. 3 The Serra still abounds in 

1 Mandara a villa de Cea 
Quinhentos queijos recentes 
Todos feitos a candea, 

E mais trezentas bezerras 
E mil ovelhas meirinhas 
E duzentas cordeirinhas, 
Taes que em nenhua serra 
Nao as achem tao gordinhas. 

(The town of Cea will send five hundred fresh cheeses, all made 
overnight, and, moreover, three hundred calves and a thousand sheep 
and two hundred lambs, such that fatter could not be found on 
any hills.) 

2 E Gouvea mandara 

Dous mil sacos de castanha 

(And Gouvea will send two thousand sacks of chestnuts.) 

3 E Manteigas lhe dara 
Leite para quatorze annos, 
E Covilhan muitos pannos 
Finos que se fazem la\ 

(And Manteigas will give milk for fourteen years, and Covilhan 
much fine cloth that is manufactured there.) 



132 IN PORTUGAL 

chestnuts and cheeses, and Covilha still has its 
factories 1 above a brawling stream that passes 
below the town. To the South the Serra da 
Estrella is prolonged in the Serra da Gardunha 
(about 4000 ft.), approached from Castello 
Branco across a wide boulder-strewn plain, 
with villages along the foot of the Serra — 
Castello Novo, Alpedrinha, Val de Prazeres, 
Fundao, Alcaria, Tortozende. At their little 
stations, among vines and hollyhocks, women sell 
fruit and strange biscuits and water. Above, 
on the serra, may be heard a shepherd playing 
on his pipe as the evening deepens, 

Tangendo a frauta donde o gado pace . — Camoes. 
(Playing upon his pipe while his flock feeds.) 

Some of the villages in the Serra da Estrella 
at night glint and glimmer like sprinkled quick- 
silver, the lights of others are yellow, like glow- 
worms. Covilha at night is one of the prettiest 
sights imaginable, its snow-white towers and 
houses lit up on its steep hill by silver lines of 
lamps, a fairy magic of white and silver against 
the black serra. It covers the top of an abrupt 
hill and its cobbled streets are very steep. It 
has four or five pointed white church-towers, and 
but few of its houses are pink or yellow ; beneath 

1 The long brown, almost sack-cloth coloured cloaks worn by 
the peasants of Alemtejo are made here from the brown wool of 
Alemtejan sheep. Some of these cloaks have a lining of scarlet 
flannel and a collar of fur. They reach to the feet and have a smaller 
cape to the waist and side capes for the arms. 



THE SERRA DA ESTRELLA 133 

it on the hill are many chestnuts, and terraces of 
corn and gardens of fruit and vegetables. At 
the back is the high bare Serra da Estrclla, and in 
front stretches a wide plain of lower serras. A 
beautiful view of the town, across a hill of pines, 
is from the road at the foot of a tiny hamlet high 
on the mountain-side, called Aldeia do Carvalho 
(Oak Village). 

Twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays, 
there is high market at Covilha. Then the 
Pra^ct do Municipio is from an early hour filled 
with women sitting on the cobbles in front of 
huge baskets of broa (soft, flat loaves of maize- 
bread, bright yellow inside and brown of crust), 
selling at a mntem, a meia tost do and a tostcio. 
Immediately above, in a second p?rifa is the 
market of fruit and vegetables and of large flat 
cheeses. The women wear their kerchiefs 
entirely covering the hair and tied beneath the 
chin, of every conceivable shade of blue and 
green and yellow, red, orange, purple, brown ; 
some of them with a pattern of flowers, and 
nearly all of delicate soft dyes, so that the open, 
densely crowded market of moving colours in 
this prapa is a sight extraordinarily beautiful. 
From all the country round the peasants come in 
to Covilha with cheeses, fruit and vegetables, or 
with ponies charcoal-laden or donkeys hidden 
beneath their great burdens of motto. 

From Teixosa, a small village of brown 



134 IN PORTUGAL 

houses and a fine new school, a road leads along 
the mountain-side, ending in a path which goes 
sheer across the serra to Verdelhos, and then 
across a second, even higher wing of the serra to 
Manteigas. The path is exceedingly rough and 
steep and entirely shadeless, but it is commonly 
used (in preference to the longer road) by 
peasants and shepherds and sellers of charcoal. 
The rounded treeless mountains of rocks and 
loose stones are thickly overgrown with thyme 
and bracken and heather and yellow cistus. 
There is no sound but that of the goat bells, 
and one passes but some solitary aged rebanheiro 
(herdsman) leaning on his staff and wearing a 
felt hat of great width and no definite shape, or 
a group of boys standing in the heather, also 
with staffs and broad-rimmed hats, their sheep 
and goats scattered above and below on the 
steep mountain-side. At night they sleep in 
the open or in stone huts ; far or near there is 
no shade or shelter, not a shrub or tree to be 
found against the summer sun and cruel winter 
winds. The proverb says, that "quern joga 
nao guarda cabras," and the saying may be 
reversed since, certainly, keeping goats in the 
bare serra is not child's play. The herdsmen 
receive six vintens a day, and spend their 
lives — 

Ao vento, & chuva, ao sol pastoreando os gados, 
Deitando-se ao luar nas pedras dos eirados, 



THE SERRA DA ESTRELLA 135 

Atravessando a noite os solitarios montes, 
Dormindo a boa sesta ao pe das claras fontes. 1 

(In wind, in rain, in sun keeping their flocks, 
Taking their rest by moonlight among rocks, 
Crossing at night the solitary mountains, 
Sleeping fair midday sleep by crystal fountains.) 

Sometimes the flocks and herds are of many 
hundreds and seem to cover a mountain-side ; 
when a storm comes swiftly across the serra and 
heights and heather are suddenly dark, one may 
hear the shepherds shouting to their flocks, in 
the deserted hills, chiefly as a kind of encourage- 
ment to themselves, since shelter there is none. 

1 Guerra Junqueiro, A Velhice do Padre Eterno. 



CHAPTER XIX 

VILLAGES OF THE SERRA 

Sao offerecimentos verdadeiros 

E palavras'sinceras, nao dobradas. — CamSes. 

(Offers sincere and true words without guile.) 

WHERE a first beginning of the river 
Zezere flows from a great circle of 
mountains four and five thousand 
feet high over white stones and 
rocks, with magnificently deep-green transparent 
pools, and beneath pines and olives and chestnut 
trees, is to be discovered the little village of 
Verdelhos. No road leads to it, and it lies in so 
deep a hollow that on one side a few steps taken 
away from it bury it entirely out of view. On 
the other side from the top of the serra one sees 
the roofs of Verdelhos many hundreds of yards 
sheer below, looking like a great brown loaf of 
rye-bread cut into little square chunks. At first 
the strangeness of this view may be attributed 
to the position of the village so far and so sheer 
below, till one realizes that in all the roofs there 
is not a single chimney to break their straight 
monotony. Only three houses in the village 
have any whitewash, and the only street with a 
name is an irregular lane with the words Rua 

13G 



VILLAGES OF THE SERRA 137 

direita (straight street, corresponding to ' Grand'' 
Rue ' and ' High Street ' ) scrawled in crooked 
letters on one of the bare, glassless houses. 

Little poles projecting from between the 
stones support large pans of carnations on the 
walls of the houses, and there are even a few 
dark-shaded weather-worn balconies or verandahs 
with posts going up to the deep eaves. But 
mostly the women sat in the street along the 
shade of the eaves, while the two vendas were 
crowded with men, it being Sunday and a festa, 
a day of procession and musica and baile in the 
afternoon. In the small prapa by the church 
(not yet called Prac;a da Republica) a crowd 
pressed about a man who was reading out a list 
of those who had contributed to the village 
priest in kind or money for the festa. Why is 
the notice not posted simply on the church 
door ? The answer is given in the official 
statistics (a.d. 1900), which show that Ver- 
delhos at the end of last century had 264 
houses, and 1048 inhabitants, of whom 462 men 
and 508 women could not write or read. And 
there can have been little change in the interval, 
since twelve years in a village so remote, so 
serta/iejo, 1 as the Portuguese say, is as a twelve- 
month in the more frequented ways of men. 2 

1 From sertdo, a desert. 

2 Manteigas in 1900 had 1045 houses and 4052 inhabitants, of 
whom 14G1 men and 1842 women were unalphabetos. Manteigas is 
the sixth most important town (or village) in Beira Baixa. 



138 IN PORTUGAL 

The ' inn ' was crowded, a little pitch-dark 
room or cave without windows, the only light 
coming from the door, and that entirely blocked, 
between twenty and thirty men standing in this 
tiny shed or sitting on the floor — the ground. 
The counter was the only other seat, with a 
garrqfao of brandy and another of red wine ; 
two rough planks, fixed to the wall of plain stone 
behind it, formed shelves containing three 
doubtful ancient bottles, a few thick glasses and 
a small sack of sugar. So much might be seen 
in the blackness when a movement about the 
door gave entrance to yet another customer. 
The serviceableness of the peasants who crowd 
the inn and their hospitality to the stranger are 
unfailing, one going out into the burning sun to 
fetch icy fresh water, another to look for a loaf 
or part of a loaf of yellow maize-bread, a third 
offering cigarettes, another going hundreds of 
yards to point out the way across the serra to 
Manteigas. Most of the men are dressed in 
brown, some in black with short Eton-like coats, 
wide curving felt hats and white shirts without 
ties. The women wear bright kerchiefs of green 
or gold, all being dressed gaily for the coming 
f'esta, concerning which the lonely shepherd in 
the serra will inquire of the wayfarer from 
Verdelhos " se tern visto a festa em baixo, no 
povo." 

From Verdelhos scarlet-skirted women go 



VILLAGES OF THE SERRA 139 

across the Serra da Estrella by rough stony 
paths to Manteigas, carrying on their heads 
huge baskets of fruit and vegetables and starting 
before the dawn. They say that it is " a long 
league " or " two short leagues," but it is really 
two hours or more of difficult going. One 
whole mountain-side is in summer purple with 
lavender, and, nearer Manteigas, the path goes 
steeply down through pines and chestnuts, or 
with flowers above and below it, magnificent 
clumps of dark purple lavender, glowing white 
masses of cistus in flower, great shrubs of white 
or pink wild roses, foxgloves, harebells and many 
other mountain flowers ; below flows another 
branch of the river Zezere and a ravine goes up 
to the Posto do Inferno. 

Manteigas is a marvellous quaint village of 
narrow streets and courts, frowning houses of 
massive granite, and little grey-brown hovels. 
Streams of water flow through the streets, the 
jutting verandahs overhead are curiously built 
of tiles or wooden laths, and the roofs present 
the appearance of having been thrown up into 
the air and of having remained at random as 
they fell, at every imaginable level and angle. 
The doorways are inky black spaces, the 
windows innocent of glass, although there are 
some better houses and even a chimney or two ; 1 

1 A house near Manteigas, that of a forester receiving sixteen 
vintens a day from the State, consisted, for him and his family, 



140 IN PORTUGAL 

the church is of whitewash and granite. The 
village is in the shadow of the grey granite 
Serra da Estrella sheer above, and its sun sets 
early, but across a valley of fruit-trees, chestnuts 
and vines a red cone-shaped mountain holds the 
sun long after Manteigas is in a semi-darkness. 
To the right is the beautiful valley of the Zezere. 
It is a peaceful little town of peasants and 
shepherds. In the twilight before day, grey and 
brown-dressed men come silently from the dark 
doorways and go out to work in the valley or 
to fetch charcoal from the mountain ; perhaps 
stopping at a tiny dark venda for a copa of 
aguardcnte, certainly pausing and taking off their 
hats as they pass a crucifix or a chapel on the 
way. 

At four o'clock every morning, from May to 
October, a postman on horseback, or rather, guid- 
ing his horse up the steep mountain-path, leaves 
Manteigas with letters for Gouvea. 1 At half- 
past nine he trots into the narrow cobbled streets 
and past the grey granite churches and chapels 
of Gouvea with a great jingling of bells, sitting 



of two rooms, one a kitchen, with floor partly of rough stone, partly 
of wood, a fire of immense logs huruing on the ground ; the other 
opening into it and containing some ornaments and photographs, 
a small table, a few chairs and a mattress in a corner on the floor. 
Walls and ceiling of both rooms were blackened with smoke from 
the chimneyless fire. 

1 Gouvea or Gouveia. From here a carro takes the letters to 
the railway station nearly ten miles distant. 



VILLAGES OF THE SERRA 141 

erect on his packed al forges, as though he had 
not just painfully crossed the highest mountain- 
range in Portugal. He is a quaint figure 
enough, all brown with a broad hat of light 
brown, and his rough leathern boots studded 
with great nails. He has but a single spur, of 
brass and huge, and his wooden box-stirrups are 
covered with a pattern of brass. He returns 
almost immediately to Manteigas, arriving there 
at about three of the afternoon. There is a road 
from Manteigas to Gouvea, but it winds and 
doubles so interminably along the serra, like a 
wriggling snake, that it seems to separate rather 
than connect the two villages. At the top of 
the Serra da Estrella are an observatory and a 
few houses. The view, especially from the ridge 
above Gouvea, is extensive and magnificent, 
of the dark undulating pinewoods and maize- 
fields of Beira Alta, of the lofty Serra de 
Caramullo beyond Bussaco, and of plain and 
serras blurred and mingling in a common mist 
of blue. 



CHAPTER XX 

THE CERCAL DE BUSSACO 

Mil arvores estao ao ceo subindo. — Camoes. 
(A thousand trees reach upward to the sky.) 
Grim Bussaco's iron ridge. — Sir Walter Scott. 

IUZO or Luso is a little village of red -roofed 
houses half buried in trees and gardens 
j — poplars, limes, oranges, and fruit-trees 
of many kinds. Trailing creepers hang 
heavily along walls and garden fences, and on 
hot days of summer the place is all scented with 
flowers, while, beyond, the plain mingles with 
the sky in a sea of blue. From Luzo a road of 
several kilometres goes up to the enclosure of 
Bussaco and all that remains of the convent in 
which Wellington spent the night before the 
battle of the 27th of September, 1810. " But if 
he does I shall beat him," had been Wellington's 
words when fears were expressed that Massena 
would not attack so strong a position. M ass&ia 
not only attacked but attacked too late, since, 
had he listened to Ney's wish, characteristically 
impetuous, to attack at once, he would have had 
far greater chances of success. The tiny cork- 
lined cells of the convent are now blocked up and 
only the little chapel remains. The little old 

142 



THE CERCAL DE BUSSACO 143 

tower of this convent- chapel looks very quaint 
and austere in the midst of the florid white 
brilliance of the new Manueline hotel. This 
hotel gleams conspicuous in the centre of 
Bussaco's forest, its white tower surmounted by 
a Manueline armillary sphere, and surrounded 
by beautiful gardens of palms and flowers. 

Could the old convent of the Carmelites be 
restored and the great and greatly admired 
Manueline building be destroyed, the charm of 
the place would be increased ; yet so steep is the 
hill and so dense the trees that in a few steps the 
hotel disappears and is not to be seen though 
one stands immediately above it on the hill. 
The convent was begun in 1628 ; the Padre geral 
of the Carmelites who came to inspect the site is 
said to have exclaimed ; " If uncultivated, rude 
and wild as it is we admire its beauty, when 
cultivated it will be an earthly paradise — se agora 
inculto, rude e tosco e o que admiramos, cultivado 
seni um paraizo terreal." But we still admire 
the splendid wildness and rude magnificence of 
the Cereal of Bussaco. A high wall of several 
kilometres surrounds the enclosure, and here one 
may wander for hours in perfect freedom, and the 
gates remain open day and night. 

Outside the gate of Coimbra are two inscrip- 
tions on the wall, both written in Portuguese. 
One of them, slightly worn, is the Bull of Pope 
Urban VIII., threatening with excommunication 



144 IN PORTUGAL 

those who should injure the trees of the en- 
closure : " QVerendo Nos quanto no Senhor 
podemos attender a conservacam e retencao das 
Arvores do Convento de S. Cruz de Bussaco dos 
Carmelitas descalcos do Bispado de Coimbra . . . 
Prohibimos sob pena de excomunhao ipso facto 
incorrenda que daqui em diante nenhua pessoa de 
qualquer authoridade que seja se attreva sem 
licenca expressa do Prior . . . entrar na Clauzura 
para effeito de cortar arvores de qualquer casta 
que sejao ou fazer outro dano : Nao obstante 
quaes quer constitucoens apostolicas ou do 
Convento e Ordem dita emcontrario . . . Dada 
em Roma em S.Pedro sob o anel do pescador em 
28 de Marso de 1643. Anno 20 de nosso Ponti- 
ficado — Wishing, in so far as we can in the 
Lord, to attend to the preservation and main- 
tenance of the trees of the Convent of the Holy 
Cross of Bussaco belonging to the Barefooted 
Carmelites of the Diocese of Coimbra . . . We 
forbid under pain of excommunication, to be 
incurred in the act, that in future any person, of 
whatever authority he may be, should dare, with- 
out express permission of the Prior ... to enter 
the enclosure for the purpose of cutting down 
trees, of whatever kind they may be, or doing 
other injury ; notwithstanding any decrees 
apostolical or of the Convent and said Order 
to the contrary . . . Given at Rome in St. 
Peter's with the fisherman's ring on the 28th 



THE CERCAL DE BUSSACO 145 

of March, 1643, in the twentieth year of our 
Pontificate.)" The other inscription — they are 
side by side on the wall — is the Bull of Pope 
Gregory XV. in 1622, forbidding " that women, 
of whatever condition or estate, should have the 
boldness and presumption to enter the enclosure 
. . . under pain of the greater excommunica- 
tion — p a q as m res de q al q er estado ou codicao 
q sejao senao atrevao ou prezumao trar . . . 
sob pena de excom ao major. A XXIII de 
Julio de MDCXXII." 

Opposite the gate of Coimbra, from a little 
terrace with stone seats set in the wall, there is a 
beautiful view of the immense plain, dark with 
pines, stretching away to the sea. Inside, not 
far from the gate, is a little chapel under a steep 
cliff of rock and foxgloves and broom, one of the 
many chapels or stations, passos, found at intervals 
in the enclosure, with their old azulejos and 
quaintly spelt, quaintly expressed inscriptions 
above the door. One has, for instance, the 
following inscription : 

AQUI SE CONCIDERA A 
CAZA DE HERODES A 
ONDE XTO. S.N. EOI TI 

do por louco, etc. ; 

(" Here is held meditation of the house of Herod, where Christ 
Our Lord was considered mad," etc.) 

Another has " Aqui se concidera o Pretorio 
de Pilatos," etc. 

L 



146 IN PORTUGAL 

The hill of the Cereal is abrupt and conical, a 
pyramid of deep trees and brushwood. Here 
is a forest 

ancient as the hills 
Enclosing sunny spots of greenery. 

Here chasms slant 

Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover, 

here are " beechen green and shadows number- 
less," as one wanders through the " verdurous 
glooms and winding mossy ways." On every 
side is an endless envelopment of branches, so 
that ground and sky are alike almost invisible ; 
below and above and around, trees stretch im- 
penetrable, and the ground is covered with trail- 
ing ivy, honeysuckle, carpets of ferns and 
luxuriant creeping undergrowth. So high and 
steep is the hill that from the narrow paths that 
go along it one looks down upon the tops of giant 
cedars and up at the roots of mighty oaks. 
Everywhere is a densest depth of green, the 
undergrowth trails and twines round the trunks 
of trees, and from leafy spaces beyond comes the 
cooing of doves. Or a nightingale sings as over- 
head the shadows deepen round the " dark- 
cluster'd trees," and below the last sunlight sends 
shafts and glades of quiet light along the ground 
and over a smooth bole here and there. The 
sunset sky appears through the trees cut into 
little globes of intense flame-coloured light, as 
though the branches were hung with a magic 



THE CERCAL DE BUSSACO 147 

splendour of myriad oranges. Probably nowhere 
in Europe are there so many cedars as at Bussaco, 
cedars and oaks cover the whole hill-side, and 
the trunks of some of the cedars are several 
yards in circumference. And here are giant fox- 
gloves, here are streams and moss-grown steps 
and ivied paths and deep green pools. Here on 
the hottest days of summer the air is cool, a wind 
rustles somewhere in the tree-tops far up the hill, 
and one may " wander in a forest thoughtlessly " 
while the village of Luzo below lies breathless in 
a mist of heat. 



CHAPTER XXI 

THE UNIVERSITY OF COIMBRA 

N'uma mao a penna e n'outra a lanca. — Camoes. 

(One hand holding a pen, the other a lance. ) 

Oh Christ ! it is a goodly sight to see 

What Heaven hath done for this delicious land ! 

What fruits of fragrance blush on every tree ! 

What goodly prospects o'er the hills expand ! — Byron. 

Brandas veigas do Mondego. — Almeida-Garrett. 

(Soft plains of the Mondego.) 

MONDEGO is the modern name of 
the ancient Munda, further length- 
ened out by the peasants to 
Mondeguinho, " the little Monde- 
go," where it flows a mere mountain stream 
from the Serra da Estrella. Near the villages 
of Cabras or Nellas or Carregal it flows already 
a river, clear green through hills of rock, and as 
it goes seaward through the province of Douro 
— the only river of the Serra da Estrella that 
reaches the sea — it receives many small tribu- 
taries hurrying green and white through magni- 
ficent clefts of rock and pine, and along narrow 
terraces of maize and olives. It is beautiful 
in all its course, but nowhere more beautiful 
than in the valley of Coimbra. 1 

1 Pronounced Queenboro'. 
148 



THE UNIVERSITY OF COIMBRA 149 

Coimbra slopes up steeply from the river in 
storeys of white, dark- windowed houses, crowned 
by the University, the University's grey clock- 
tower topping the town. From the Quinta das 
Lagrimas or from the terrace of the Convent of 
Santa Clara across the river there are wonderfully 
beautiful views of the hill of houses — the 
compact mass of houses rising in many storeys to 
the sky, brown roofs and walls of glowing white 
with a smattering of grey and pink and yelloAV ; 
above, to the right, the University, on the left 
the Sc Nova and Papo Episcopal? and, lower, 
between them and in the very heart of the town, 
the splendid yellow-brown front of the twelfth- 
century Cathedral, the Se Velha. A group of 
trees stands below the University and a few 
single ones among the houses here and there, 
scarcely breaking the long array of white 
buildings. 

One may cross the Mondego in a barge oppo- 
site the Choupal, and from here one has an even 
fuller view of the University and of the gallery 
running round it. The water is green and 
exquisitely transparent ; a pine-covered hill 
farther up stream across the line of the river 
seems to block its course, and along a white 
curve of sand carts drawn by dark-brown oxen 
are being loaded, and women wash clothes 

1 The Bishopg of Coimbra have also the title of Count, Conde de 
Arganil. 



150 IN PORTUGAL 

from dawn to dusk, standing in the water. 
The pinks and blues and mauves, green and 
purple, blue, brown, yellow and red of their 
dresses, and the whirling white linen as it is 
beaten against the stones or dashed into the green 
water are like a picture by Rubens in the infinite 
wealth and variety of colour and movement. 
The thick avenues of poplar (choupos) of the 
Ckoupal, green from their roots but branching 
out more densely above, make pleasant shady 
walks along the river. 

Perhaps the three most beautiful buildings of 
Coimbra are the Se VclJia, with its front of two 
great arches, one above the other, each with four 
pillars, of sculptured capitals, on either side ; the 
Mosteiro de Santa Cruz with its ' Cloister of 
Silence,' the tombs of the first two Kings of 
Portugal x and the sculpture by Joao de Ruao ; a 
and all that remains of the thirteenth-century 
Old Convent of Santa Clara or da Rainha Santa 
Elizabeth, on the opposite bank of the Mondego. 
The Convent itself has been destroyed long since 
by cheias or floods of the river, only the church 
remains, and this all sunken in the earth so that 
the beautiful capitals of some of its pillars are 
but a few feet from the ground, and of one 
pointed arch only the tip is visible, through 
which one may look into a black space of deep 

1 Affonso Henrique?, 1139-1185. Sancho I., 1185-1211. 

2 Jean de Rouen. 



THE UNIVERSITY OF COIMBRA 151 

water beneath the building. In a paved court in 
front of the arched entrance facing the river oxen 
were treading out broad beans from their shells, 
and the whole building is turned into a farm- 
stables, surely the most beautiful stables in 
existence, belonging to the owner of the Qitinta 
das Lagiimas. The inside is very dark, and one 
stumbles against beautiful pillars and capitals, 
which there is scarcely sufficient light to examine, 
and between which the oxen have their stalls. 
Outside, the crops come up to the wall and the 
wall itself is largely covered with fig-trees, vines 
and maidenhair ferns, and many snapdragons 
grow in the beautiful rose-window. One of the 
entrances was called Porta da Rosa, owing to the 
famous miracle of roses in the days of King Diniz 
and Queen Elizabeth. The King, who had for- 
bidden the Queen-Saint's continual charities, met 
her one day when her apron was filled with bread 
for the poor. To his question she answered with 
simple faith (or slight regard for truth) that her 
apron was filled with roses, and when the apron 
was opened it was found indeed to contain 
nothing but roses. The New Convent of Santa 
Clara contains a painted wooden panel which 
shows the Queen leaning on a black stick and 
distributing red roses to beggars. 

Not far from these lovely stables is the Quinta 
das Lagrimas. Here the Fontc dos Amoves, a 
clear spring, wells from beneath a plant-grown 



152 IN PORTUGAL 

rock, the water then flowing through a stone 
channel, in the form of a rough cross, to a green 
stagnant pond. Here, on a stone, are carved 
the lines of Camoes : — 

As filhas do Mondego a morte escura 

Largo tempo chorando memoraram, 
E por memoria eterna em fonte pura 

As lagrimas choradas transformaram ; 
O nome lhe puzeram, que inda dura, 

Dos amores de Ignez que alii passaram : 
Vede que fresca fonte rega as flores, 
Que lagrimas silo a agua e o nome amores. 

— Lusiads, iii. 135. 

(The daughters of Mondego long with tears 
Of her dark death kept fresh the memory, 

And, that remembrance might outlive the years, 
Of tears thus shed a crystal spring supply ; 

The name they gave it then even now it bears, 
The love of Ignez there to signify ; 

How clear a spring the flowers from above 

Waters — in tears it flows, its name is love.) 

For here Ignez de Castro was murdered, 1 and a 
sinister red still stains a part of the stone channel 
beneath the transparent water. It is a place of 
cool shade, with maidenhair ferns and the sound 
of flowing water, beneath great cypresses. 

Immediately above the old convent of Santa 
Clara the new convent stands, far out of the 
reach of river clicias. It is a huge building of 
brown-yellow stone. The sisters were expelled 
in 1910 by the Republic, to the lasting grief of 
the old sacristao, who repeats that " they did 

1 See Chapter XV. 



THE UNIVERSITY OF COIMBRA 153 

nothing but good — nothing but good," and, 
receiving a salary not from the State but from 
the still existing Real Conjraria of the convent, 
keeps the light ever burning before the coffin of 
the Queen-founder of the original convent, Saint 
Elizabeth. 

It is no wonder that the Portuguese students 
in after life do not lose their affection for 
Coimbra and the saudosos campos do Mondego, 1 
the river of the Muses. Coimbra might be, and 
partly is, a town de buen ayre e de fermosas 
scdidas? as Alfonso the Learned recommended 
that a university town should be — " of good air 
and fair outgoings " ; but water is allowed to 
stagnate pestilentially with heaps of rubbish 
on the other side of the river, beyond a planta- 
tion of oranges, and also near the bridge where 
the women wash clothes. Streets of poverty- 
stricken houses and long, narrow stairways of 
stone steps ascend from the river to the 
University. Women with boat-shaped baskets 

1 Camoes. 

2 De buen ayre e de fermosas salidas deve ser la villa do 
quisieren establecer el estudio, porque los maestros que muestran 
los saberes e los escolares que aprenden vivan sanos en el e puedan 
folgar e recebir plazer en la tarde, quaudo se levantaren cansados 
del estudio. — Las Siete Partidas {De Los Estudios). 

(Of good air and fair approaches must be the town where a 
university is founded, that the masters who set forth learning and 
the scholars who receive it may live there in good health, and may 
have relaxation and delight of an afternoon when they rise weary 
from their studies.) 



154 IN PORTUGAL 

of fruit on their heads go up the steep cobbled 
streets, or carry two-handled bilhcis and cantaros 
from the chafariz below the Se Velha. 

If the heat of the day is overwhelming the 
JSibliotheca in the quadrangle of the University 
offers a cool retreat, since it is open in summer 
as in winter from ten a.m. to three p.m. It has 
the remote ancient air and cloistered peace of the 
Bodleian. The books are brought quickly and 
in any number, and there is a convenient cata- 
logue, consisting of little books of manuscript 
slips, roughly bound together, like tailors' 
patterns. 

From the court of the University, close to the 
entrance of the Library, there is a view of the 
fruitful valley of the Mondego and of the hills 
beyond, which is one of the most beautiful views 
in Portugal, and that is not saying little, in this 
land of 'goodly prospects.' To the right of 
Coimbra grey Sew Bento, the yellow-washed 
Penitenciaria, the white, deserted convent of the 
Ursullnos and the Seminar io stand on the hill- 
side, and beyond, pine-covered hills stretch away 
to the faint blue Serra de Louza; below is the 
lovely curve of the Mondego, in its wide, 
sandy bed, flowing through hills and flats of 
olives and oranges, vines and maize and poplars. 
To the left of Coimbra the little distant village 
of Simide is perched high between the crests of 
two hills of pines, showing barely the white 



THE UNIVERSITY OF COIMBRA 155 

tower of its church. The beauty of the whole 
scene is impossible to describe, due partly to 
the lovely formation of the hills and the bend of 
the river, partly to the many variegated greens 
of plain and hill, the green of fir and poplar, 
pine and palm, eucalyptus, orange and olive. 

The University of Coimbra has a charm and 
fascination which perhaps only that of Oxford 
now, and Salamanca of old could excel. For 
apart from the quaintness of its streets, the 
beauty of its ancient buildings and the loveliness 
of the surrounding country, it has for the 
Portuguese student a thousand reminiscences 
and attractions. It is the only university of 
Portugal, a bond of union between all learning, 
and it has ever been the inspiration of Portuguese 
poets. Camoes studied here ; Almeida- Garrett, 
the chief Portuguese poet of the nineteenth 
century, as a student recited more than one 
poem in the great Sala das Adas ; and a third 
poet, Francisco de Sa de Miranda, was born at 
Coimbra. The students, in frock-coats and 
flowing gowns, are some of them neatly dressed 
and some completely in tatters, their vanity 
clearly showing through the holes of their 
coats ; they go bareheaded even in the days of 
fiercest sun, but often carry umbrellas, which they 
do not use ; it is no longer the fashion to wear or 
even to possess the academic cap or gorro. 
Apart from attendance at lectures, examinations, 



156 IN PORTUGAL 

etc., the students are entirely free ; sometimes 
they live alone in rooms, more often they join 
together, ten or jtwelve at the most, and form 
little communities known as republican. 1 

1 Cf. the custom of certain small Basque villages in the eighteenth 
century to style themselves republican. On the other hand, some 
small villages — e.g. Vidania in Guip\izcoa — are called wiiversidades , 
universities. 



CHAPTER XXII 

OPORTO 

Em espaco breve 
Chega ao mar o Douro, 
Os cabellos de ouro 
Se fazem de neve. 

— Francisco de Sa e Menbses. 

(Swift to the sea and bold 
The river Douro's flow, 
But then to locks of snow 
Change its locks of gold.) 

Como sobre um circo convertido em naumachia o Porto ergue- 
se em amphitheatro sobre o esteiro do Douro e reclina-se no seu leito 
de granito. — Alexandre Herculano. 

(As above a circus prepai'ed for a mock sea-fight. Oporto rises in 
amphitheatre above the channel of the Douro and reposes in a bed 
of granite.) 

BETWEEN Aveiro and Oporto lie the 
alagadifos of the river Vouga (flowing 
from the Serra da Lapa) and the via 
of Aveiro, strange gloomy flats and 
marshlands along the sea. Here are backwaters 
covered with water-lilies, sand-rimmed lagoons 
and sluggish channels or esteiros, along which the 
fishing-boats go out to sea, their white sails 
giving an impression of Holland as they creep in 

107 



158 IN PORTUGAL 

invisible boats across the swampy plain of dull 
green and brown, with bright green reed-like 
rice-fields. The summer heat in these swamps 
and in the little villages of Angeja, Canellas, or 
Estarreja is oppressive and terrible ; the sun 
beats down with overwhelming force, ripening 
the rice and rapidly forming mounds of salt in 
the marinhas of Aveiro. It is only at Ovar that 
one comes to beautiful white sand-dunes and a 
clear blue sea, and at Esmoriz and Espinho 
pine-woods grow by the sea across the sand- 
dunes. 

Oporto itself has a somewhat dingy air. Its 
streets and houses are blackened with smoke 
and coal, a blackening so different from the 
mellow effects of the smoke of wood and twig 
kitchen-fires in the farms and villages. And 
the dinginess shows more gloomily under the 
brilliant light of Portugal than in a less sunny 
climate. 

From the high conspicuous Torre dos Clerigos 
one has an excellent view of the red roofs and of 
the factory chimneys of the city, and, immediately 
below, a glimpse of its busy life in the Mercado 
do An jo, a curious crowded market-place of 
corrugated iron sheds (or tiled, with little sky- 
lights) at the side of a wide court roughly paved 
with slabs of stone. And, indeed, the interest of 
Oporto is not in its buildings, not even in its 
splendid gardens, the Jar dim da Cordoarla, the 



OPORTO 159 

Crystal Palace, the Jar dim de Sao Lazaro with 
its great circle of magnolias, but rather in the life 
of its steep streets and quays and river, in the 
goldsmiths' shops (ourivesarias), the curiously 
carved high cangas of the ox-carts, the wooden 
slippers or socos, the barrel-like canecas l narrow- 
ing at the top and strengthened with iron bands, 
the crowd of idle loafers and the busy crowd of 
toilers. 

The most peculiar and murkiest part of the 
town is that around and immediately below the 
Cathedral. The Sc itself has a beautiful cloister 
(the more beautiful from the ugliness of the sur- 
roundings through which one must pass to the 
Cathedral) surrounding a court, the pavement of 
which is formed of nameless tombs, each with its 
number. To the cool interior of the Se the heat 
does not penetrate, although through the open 
door appears the glazed sky and a valley and hill 
of brown and grey walls and red roofs in a haze 
of heat. Steep dingy coal-tinged streets and 
travessas a few feet wide, with tiny dark shops 
and heaps of rubbish, fiat-slabbed uneven lai'gos 
and gloomy courts surround the Cathedral in this 
the most ancient and quaintest part of Oporto, 
A long flight of broken stone steps leads down a 

1 These wooden canecas, used for carrying water on the head 
instead of earthenware bilhas, are of the same kind as the ferradas of 
Asturias, but far less beautiful. The ferrada is of more graceful 
shape, and its three broad bauds of iron are brightly polished, so 
that it gleams like silver. 



160 IN PORTUGAL 

cliff of rock from the Cathedral, tall houses rising 
out of the rock, and, below this, steep cobbled 
streets fall riverwards. 

On an abrupt hill of rock above the river 
stands the Seminario under which, from the 
Convent (now quartel) of Nossa Senhora da Serra 
do Pilar Wellington effected his marvellous 
passage of the Douro on the 11th of May, 1809, 
when his habitual calculating prudence seemed 
to have given way to a reckless and foolhardy 
daring. The quiet coldness of his words, " Well, 
let the men cross," was, however, characteristic 
as he gave the order by which twenty-five 
British soldiers were to find themselves on the 
right bank of the Douro in the face of the 
whole army of Soult, only a single boat being 
available for the passage. Of the low round 
tower of the Quartel da Serra do Pilar a strange 
and beautiful view is to be seen from near the 
Pra$a da Batalha, for across a garden of limes 
and oranges and palms, across quaint grey- 
balconied houses, deep little verandahs and old 
yellow walls, the tower looks but a few yards 
away, the Douro entirely obliterated in its deep 
gorge. 

It is from the high bridge of Dom Luiz I. 
that one may best realize how deep and steep the 
gorge is, and the immense difficulty of throwing 
an army across the river. The right bank 
beneath the Passcio das Fontainlias, between 



OPORTO 1G1 

the seminario and the bridge, is of rock rising 
abruptly to a height of many feet (the bridge 
itself is little under 200 feet high). Yet it is for 
the most part covered with houses and spaces of 
green in a motley disarray, as though fig-trees 
and plots of vegetables, vine-trellises and orange- 
trees, walls and stone steps and houses, brown 
roofs and red roofs, had clambered up in a fierce 
struggle to secure a permanent foothold, at 
whatever level or angle, in the precipitous rock. 
Opposite are the low red or white or yellow wine 
armazens of Villa Nova de Gaia, often hollowed in 
the granite of the hill-side. The Caes da Itibeira 
to the right of the bridge is as crowded with 
boats as the raft of an Oxford barge in Eights 
Week. Along its steps women stand perpetually 
washing clothes, while ox-carts pass to and fro in 
the street above. On the further side is a long 
row of little round-arched shops, and in the 
street stalls (as seen from the bridge far above) 
display tiny squares of indistinguishable fruits, 
green, gold, red and brown. 

The river, here dull green and sullen, is a 
moving picture of many boats — small steam tugs 
and slow laden barges (one rowed by twelve white- 
kerchiefed women standing) ; long cay cos, thin 
and curved as a crescent of moon but a few days 
old ; square-prowed little fishing-boats, savoeiros 
or saveiros ; the heavier barcos ravello or rabello, 
which bring the wine from the region round 

M 



162 IN PORTUGAL 

llegoa x far upstream, making a difficult descent 
of the rocky impetuous Douro. Beyond the 
Caes daRibcira Oporto juts out (by the church of 
Sao Francisco) in a bend of the river opposite 
the Praia do Estaleiro, a bend corresponding to 
that, a little further upstream, under cover of 
which Wellington was able to throw his troops 
across. 

1 The month of the vintage is September and the beginning of 
October, although Camoes says that — 

No mez de Agosto 
Baccho das uvas tira o doce mosto ; 

(In the month of August, Bacchus draws forth the sweet juice of 
the grape.) 

Grapes are sold in the markets as early as July. The wine 
undergoes a further process of two years' preparation in the cellars 
of Oporto. 



CHAPTER XXIII 

THE PROVINCE OF MINHO 

EvSaifiwv T€ (an Kai iroTa/J.o?s fifya\ois Siappelrai ko.1 (xtKpo7s. 

— Strabo, of Portugal. 

(And it is fertile, and is crossed by many rivers, small and great.) 

Como sio brancas as flores 
D'este verde jasminal ! 
Recorda a sua fragancia 
Perfumes de um laranjal ; 
Mas tern mais suave aroma 
As rosas de Portugal. 
— Francisco Gomes de Amorim ('1827-1892). 

(How white the flower of this green jessamine ! Its fragrance 
recalls an orange-grove in flower ; but sweeter is the scent of the 
roses of Portugal.) 

THE country from Oporto to Villa do 
Conde, with its miles of ruinous 
aqueduct, and Povoa de Varzim, a 
town of low white houses on a 
shadeless shore close to the frontier of Minho, 
has an almost Northern air. For here are pines 
and bracken and foxgloves, deep, flowered 
hedges, alder-shaded streams. The heat how- 
ever, in summer is very great, and in the breath- 
less air the blue smoke rises slowly from the 
brown roofs of villages in vines and maize : 
Crestins, Pedras Rubas, Villar do Pinheiro, 

163 



164 IN PORTUGAL 

Modivas, Mindello, 1 Azurara. Here the stream 
Leca flows to the sea at Mattosinhos. 2 The 
praises of the little river Leca have been sung by 
many poets, by none more pleasantly than by 
Francisco de Sa e Meneses (1515-1584). 

Oh rio Leca 
Como corres manso ! 
Se eu tiver descanso 
Em ti se comeca ! 3 

Por ti cantam aves, 
Sem temerem quedas, 
Mil cantigas ledas 
E versos suaves. 



Por ti canta Abril 
(^uanto cuida e sonha, 
Ora com sanfonha, 
Ora com rabil. 

(O river Leca, 
So gently flowing, 
Had I rest from care 
'Twere of thy bestowing. 

• • • • ■ • 

For thee sing the birds, 
Careless of all ill, 
Many a joyous song, 
Many a softest trill. 

All his hopes and dreams 
For thee April sings, 
Now on rustic pipe, 
Now with lyre-strings.) 

1 Almeida-Garrett landed here to fight as a private soldier for 
King Pedro on behalf of his daughter, Dona Maria II. da Gloria. 

2 Mattosinho9 has a crucifix which miraculously floated thitber 
from Joppa in the year 117. 

3 This verse is ascribed to Joao Rodrigues de S£ by Theophilo 



THE PROVINCE OF MINHO 165 

The first river of the province of Minho is 
the Cavado, whose transparent waters, flowing 
from the Serra de Larouco, reach white sand- 
dunes and the sea between the villages of Fao 
and Espozende. The small holdings of Minho are 
evident in the numerous walls of loose stones or 
upright slabs or granite posts connected by wire. 
The farms are built so low that their entrance is 
sometimes entirely hidden in velvet-black depths 
of vine-trellis as high as the house and supported 
on rough posts of granite. Women are at work 
in the maize, wearing white straw hats, scarlet 
skirts and fringed shawls of green or yellow, 
tied as crossovers. A slow ox-cart passes, drawn 
by brown oxen, their tall yoke or canga of wood 
intricately and beautifully carved ; the boeirinha 1 
in red and yellow with large gold earrings 
walking in front, her aguilhada (goad) thrice her 
own height. Girls equally small keep cows by 
the roadside ; women pass with huge loads of 
vegetables, wood, fir-cones, trefoil or maize-leaves 
on their heads, or in the early morning go out to 
work in the fields, carrying brown-red bilhas and 
long-handled gleaming mattocks. It is most rare 

Braga (Camoes, Epoca e vida. Porto, 1907, p. 436), who quotes it as 
follows (from the quotation by Frei Manoel da Esperan^a) : — 

Oh rio de Le^a 

Como corres raanso ! 

Se eu tiver descanso 

Em ti come^a ! 

1 Boeiro = French bouvier. Boeirinha is the feminine diminutive. 



160 IN PORTUGAL 

here as elsewhere in Portugal to see the peasant 
women empty-handed, or rather empty-headed. 
On their heads they carry, if they have no load, 
their umbrella or pair of clogs, but more often they 
have on their head a burden of incredible size 
and weight, a large table or a donkey's double 
panniers or a long thick bar of iron or their more 
usual load of large heavy baskets ; and this not 
for a short distance only or on level ground, but 
for many miles and over steep, cobbled streets 
and mountain paths. 

To see the dress of the women of Minho at its 
best one must go to Vianna do Castello and to the 
villages near Vianna. The road from Espozende 
coasts the shore of undulating sand-dunes 
and many pinewoods. Vianna, midway between 
the river Minho and the river Cavado, has 
its own river, the Lima, the manso Lima, the 
saudoso, brando e claro Lima of Diogo Bernardez. 
The Lima flows through an immensely wide bed 
of sand and beneath dark serras from the Serra 
de Sao Mamcde in Alto Alemtejo, and Vianna 
has a beautiful position at its mouth, protected 
on the north by a pine-covered serra. Here 
many sailing-boats take in loads of pinewood and 
other cargos, and here too is a busy traffic of 
diligencias. The carros de correio are not small 
and light as in the south, but large unwieldy 
conveyances drawn by three or four horses, and 
carrying at a pinch, for some great market of a 



THE PROVINCE OF MINHO 167 

village in the hills, twenty or more travellers. 
Letters are given to the coachman, and, if at any 
house on the way an inquiry is made for a letter, 
he pulls them from his pocket and hands them 
to one of the travellers to look through, who 
does it leisurely, spelling out the names. 

A market at the village of Lanheze, some 
ten miles from Vianna, is a most strange and 
fascinating sight, owing to the dress and 
ornaments worn by the women, here seen in 
all their splendour. The skirt is usually of 
grey or some faded colour, worn short and 
full, with a band of black, often of velvet, half 
a foot wide, round the edge. A white shirt or 
blouse appears only at the arms and in a line 
at the waist, and over this is worn a close-fitting 
bodice of a black stiff material immediately 
above the waist for about six inches, a line of 
gold or silver or bright-coloured braid dividing 
it from the upper part, which is of a less stiff 
and brighter stuff, and passes over the shoulders 
in bands a few inches wide. Over this again 
a large handkerchief, usually of yellow or red, 
is worn round the neck and tied crossover- 
fashion about the waist, while another bright 
large-flowered handkerchief flows far down the 
back from the head, and is tied on the forehead 
in two long ends, like horns. Moreover, even on 
the hottest days, some of the women wear a 
heavy apron of black velvet, ornamented with 



168 IN PORTUGAL 

beads and edged with fur. The general effect, 
all gold and red, of the upper part of their dress 
is most weird and beautiful. The colours, though 
bright, are less vivid than those to be seen round 
Elvas, being of less simple hue ; and it is notice- 
able that, when red and yellow are abandoned, 
the handkerchiefs and bodice are often chosen in 
different shades of the same colour, green or blue 
or purple. 

But the dress of the women of Minho pales 
into insignificance before their ornaments of gold. 
Gold earrings sometimes three times the size of 
the ear, six or seven rounds of large-beaded neck- 
laces of gold, thinner gold chains fold upon fold, 
with many pendants, crosses, hearts and various 
ornaments, which from their massive solidity one 
may not call trinkets, crowd together so that some 
of the women are entirely sheathed in gold from 
neck to waist and weighed down by half of the con- 
tents of an ourivesaria of Oporto's Rua das Flares. 

The price of a pair of very ordinary plain 
hoop-shaped earrings {brincos or pendentes) is 
about five milreis, but others must be five and 
six times as expensive, and some of the chains 
{cor rentes) are valued at as much as fifty milreis. 
All the ornaments, moreover, of real though 
perhaps not very fine gold, are thick and heavy, 
and many of them curiously worked, so that 
it is strange to see these gilt peasant-women 
barefoot, chaffering over the price of a lettuce or 



THE PROVINCE OF MINHO 169 

a chicken. The market of Lanheze is held in a 
crowded space (of which a part is occupied by 
hundreds of iron-grey bilhas for sale) on either 
side of the main road, so that one has a view of 
massed gold and brilliant colours which is truly 
marvellous and not easily forgotten. The thick- 
whiskered men with small black hats, wide black 
sashes, short brown jackets ornamented with braid 
and buttons of mother-of-pearl, set the dress of 
the women in sharp relief. Even small girls are 
often arrayed in massive earrings and necklaces 
of gold, so that it would appear that they are 
not merely family heirlooms handed down from 
mother to daughter ; but no doubt many cheap 
imitations are to be bought at the village fairs. 

The women are nearly always barefoot or go 
slowly clog- clog in socos, a kind of slipper or 
smaller sabot (tamanco) without heel, made of 
leather, adorned with a pattern and a black bow 
and brass-headed nails, with soles of wood. In 
Algarve they are called chocos, cholocas or cloques 
(clogs) ; along the Spanish frontier of Traz-os- 
Montes they are cholos ; unwritten onomatopoeic 
names that vary from province to province. 

The minliotos have a great love of whitewash, 
even the tiled roofs of some houses and churches 
are covered with white, giving, with the granite, 
a white and grey look to the villages. Thin 
granite pillars some twelve feet high are 
surmounted by small crosses, and niches, also of 



170 IN PORTUGAL 

granite, contain rude crucifixions in azukjos or 
roughly painted, with half a dozen figures below 
in flames saying : " You who go by remember 
our sorrows," " Lembraivos de nos" or " Alms 
for the blessed souls." The minhoto is pious 
to the verge of superstition. He would not 
willingly pass any of these crucifixions without 
crossing himself or muttering a prayer ; and, 
if asked what are the porborinhos, 1 will answer 
very seriously with a kind of fearfulness, that they 
are "those who go in the air," spirits that wander 
between Hell and Heaven. 

Many are the picturesque expressions to be 
gathered in the Minho, which at once fascinates 
the stranger by its ancient individual character 
as much as by the perennial freshness of its fields 
and hills. Thus the wolf, frequent here as in 
the charnecas of Alemtejo, is "he of the ready- 
made coat — o daroupafeita "i; matches (wooden) 
are "little light-sticks, palitos de lume" — you 
will be told that only those who give themselves 
airs — algum fidalgo — call them phosphoros, phos- 
phor o here meaning a gun- cap. The maize-bread 
or broa, 2 the ox -carts with their cangas, the 

1 Properly borborinhos, diminutive of borboro, which is the same 
word as ' murmur/ the murmur of the forest having become a spirit. 
Cf. Teixeira de Pascoaes, As Sombras (1907), p. 36 : 

um murmurio fundo 
De torvo borborinho. 
and p. 27 : Erravam no ar Demonios, Borborinhos. 

2 Borona, boroa, b'rua, broa. The word is to be found spelt in 
all these ways. 



THE PROVINCE OF MINHO 171 

corocas worn by the men in winter, are but a 
few of the many peculiarities of the province. 
Those who know the heavy yellow maize-bread, 
artoa, of the Basques, the equally yellow, equally 
heavy borona of Asturias and broa of Beira Baixa, 
are surprised to find the broa of Minho almost 
white. " Ntio sabcm fazer pao de milho — they 
do not know how to make maize-bread," say the 
minhotos of those further south ; here it is made 
of maize-grains so white that they are even 
surreptitiously mixed (as being cheaper) with 
wheat to make pao de trigo. The maize-bread 
is of two kinds, one very sour, mixed with a 
large proportion of rye, the other excellent. 

The congas (jogos, yokes), first seen at Oporto, 
are the pride of the peasants of the north. They 
are sometimes about two feet high, a fringe of 
hair running along the top, with an open-work 
pattern of little arches, every inch of the wood 
between being carved with great skill. They are 
bought in the towns, Oporto, Guimaraes, etc., 
and cost from three to five milreis, which seems 
little enough when one considers the immense 
amount of work bestowed upon them. l Thin 
and set erect on the oxen's necks the canga gives 
an impression of great discomfort ; the oxen 
suffer in order to be beautiful, and are cheered by 
the monotonous " singing " {cantar or chiar, the 

1 There are also a good many carts of single oxen, the poles then 
passing through the canga at either end. 



172 IN PORTUGAL 

chirriar of the Spanish-Basque provinces) of 
the cartwheels. On the tightening of a huge 
screw in the axles the singing begins, a sound as of 
many threshing-machines at work, with an almost 
human lamentation of groaning. Some kilometres 
away this is tolerable, even pleasant, but near at 
hand it becomes after a time almost unendurable ; 
the peasant walks placidly at the side of his cart 
or lies jolting upon it, and says that "it is 
beautiful when the wheels sing well, and the 
oxen like it — Quando cantam bem e muito bonito, 
e os bois gostam." It also frightens away wolves, 
and malignant spirits, and the Devil. 

In Traz-os-Montes the cangas are replaced 
by the softer, comfortable mulhelhas. The 
mulhelhas consist for each ox of a small pad of red 
flannel or of leather along the forehead, bound at 
intervals with little thongs of leather, and above 
this, between the horns, is a fat cushion of 
leather, filled with wool, the leather continuing 
over the neck to support a small yoke of wood. 1 
A pair of mulhelhas costs a libra, being more 
expensive than the ordinary canga. The outlay 
necessary for the possession of an ox-cart is, 
indeed, considerable. The cart itself, wishing- 
bone-shaped, with small holes along the side for 
( rough sticks (to which the load is tied, or on 
which, when the cart is empty, the peasant hangs 

1 On both sides of the Northern frontier of Traz-os-Montes the 
mulhelhas are replaced by simple, untanned goat-skins. 



THE PROVINCE OF MINHO 173 

his socos), is of pine or corkwood or oak, and may 
cost twenty milreis ; the pair of oxen from twenty- 
five to thirty libras. The libra (or soberano) is 
the English pound sterling, and, curiously enough, 
the cattle at the markets are always bought and 
sold in libras. The recognized price of the libra 
is 4500 reis, four and a half milreis, but it varies 
with the exchange (always given in the news- 
papers) ; so that, when the bargain is concluded, 
a long process of mathematics is required in 
order to reduce the stipulated sum to reis. 

In summer the peculiar capes of reeds worn 
by the minhoto peasants are nowhere to be seen. 
These coronas, cropas, crossas (or cor pas, as many 
of the peasants call them) are bought in winter at 
the village fairs and cost from eighteen vintens to 
four or five tostoes. They are impenetrable to 
rain, of a faded yellow-grey colour, and reach to 
the feet, with a second cape about the shoulders. 
In Traz-os-Montes, land of many rye-fields, the 
corocas are replaced by palhocas, similar capes 
bought cheap at the winter fairs, but made of 
straw, palha de centeio. Peculiar to the Scrra do 
Barroso (near Cabeceiras) is the capucha, or 
hood, worn by the women in winter, made, 
however, not of reeds or straw but of wool or 
serge. 

On the road from Vianna to Ponte do Lima 
may be seen many beautiful little quintas, set in 
orange-trees and fruit-trees of many kinds, vines 



174 IN PORTUGAL 

and long lines of blue hydrangeas ; the maize- 
fields are surrounded by vines on granite posts, 
and the verandahs beneath the wide eaves 
of the houses are likewise supported from the 
eaves by rough posts of granite. The houses of 
Ponte do Lima, lying on the river Lima in a 
great circle of hills, are mostly built of massive 
blocks of granite, some of them with coats-of- 
arms. From here a road of thirty kilometres goes 
to Braga through treeless brackened hills, with a 
scent of Cumberland moors, and hills of tall pines 
across and through which appear more distant 
mountain-ranges of a faint and exquisite blue. 

Prado, on the Cavado, is a small village of 
low dark-doored houses round a common under 
oak-trees. The valley is beautiful, the river 
flowing through pine-covered hills and beneath 
banks of alder and vine-grown poplars, with 
islands of white sand lit up and coloured in the 
setting sun. The vines in many parts of Minho 
grow over fruit-trees of every kind, even oranges 
and olives, and over oaks, poplars, etc., and are 
sometimes festooned from tree to tree ; the vines 
flourish, and the fruit-trees, although occasionally 
throttled, also as a rule yield their fruit. 

On summer evenings at Prado bright- 
kerchiefed women sit in the doorways or carry 
bilhas of water through the darkening streets. 
Braga, a league away, is on a hill surrounded by 
pine-covered hills and fainter blue mountains. 



THE PROVINCE OF MINHO 175 

Its long Rua da Boa Vista going up sheerly 
from the plain is one of the steepest of the steep 
streets of Portugal. The town is very 
picturesque, with its houses washed red and 
mauve and white and yellow, its irregular brown 
roofs, its Cathedral and many ancient church 
towers ; all intermingled with fruit-trees and 
vines, a great vine sometimes clambering all 
along a brown-tiled roof. Braga is the capital of 
Minho, and only grudgingly yields to Coimbra 
the place of third city of Portugal, after Lisbon 
and Oporto. The Archbishop of Braga still has 
the title of Primate of the Spains, Primaz das 
Hespanhas. On all sides from the central yraca 
descend long streets of houses, many-coloured 
and picturesquely irregular, red and brown, 
pink and yellow; sometimes the sides of the 
houses are entirely tiled, like roofs, or covered 
with blue or green or yellow azulejos. 

The hundred kilometres of road x from Braga 
to Villa Pouca de Aguiar, in Traz-os-Montes, are 
full of beauty and interest. The road glints in 
myriad facets from the dust of granite; seven 
L-'dometres from Braga it cuts along steep brack- 
ened hills (called the Serra do Carvalho, 
although oaks are rare), and granite posts are 
set along the precipitous hillside. From this 
terrace, where a stone seat near a fountain is 
shaded by cool acacia-trees, there is a view of an 

1 Without dust or mud, and excellent for motoring. 



17G IN PORTUGAL 

immense dark valley far below, of pines and 
chestnuts and small fringed squares that are 
maize-fields surrounded by rows of vine-covered 
trees. Little parishes or freguezias here and 
there have their churches half-hidden in trees ; 
on one side the Cavado flows across the valley 
with curves and angles of white sand, and the 
valley is bounded by endless lines of mountains, 
range upon range, blue and faintest grey, long 
slopes, sharp crags and rounded peaks, the fore- 
runners of the Serra do Gerez. On a summer 
day in a calma the whole valley seems silent and 
asleep, except for the hours striking, or a deep- 
toned bell ringing from some hidden church 
tower. By the road is a chirping of crickets and 
the welcome sound of running water ; butterflies 
hover lazily and great green lizards take the sun 
by the posts of granite. 

In the Serra da Cabreira and the Serra do 
Barroso before Cabeceiras the houses are of grey 
granite, huge almost Cyclopean blocks that recall 
the mighty walls of Tarragona. They are 
placed one upon the other without cement ; four 
or five may suffice for the entire height of the 
house, four of them make a black square hole 
that is the glassless, frameless window. The 
building appears to be delightfully simple, if, 
that is, the builders are giants ; x the blocks are, 

1 In one of these villages a house of massive granite blocks was 
building, the blocks being slowly rolled up along two rough pine 
trunks. 



THE PROVINCE OF MINHO 177 

however, sometimes of no great thickness, 
occasionally six inches only. The houses of 
these villages, Rosas, for instance, have a massive 
look of eternity, but their greyness of granite 
blocks is relieved by gardens bright with monks- 
hood and flags and dahlias — hollyhocks, roses, 
hydrangeas and masses of hanging ivy geranium 
and other trailing flowers, with carnations along 
the granite ledges under the windows. 

And, as the houses grow greyer, the men 
break out into the brighter colours of the 
mountain (the women wearing bright colours 
here as elsewhere). Their sashes, indeed, are 
black and worn very broad, but their sandals are 
of bright reds or blues or purples, and the soft 
felt hats change from small and black to large 
and brown or green. They have, too, brilliant 
handkerchiefs and neckties, but especially are 
their waistcoats an evident delight. The more 
sober-minded wear them black or brown in front 
with the back of crimson flannel ; but the gayer 
add to the crimson flannel at the back a front of 
crimson plush, across which hang several lines of 
thin silver chains. Their coats are thrown over 
the arm, and they all carry plain stout sticks cut 
from the mountain-side, and nearly as tall as 
themselves, though most of them are tall* 

On the side of the serra it is not always easy 
to distinguish a village of grey granite houses 
and brown-smoked roofs. The houses are all 

N 



178 IN PORTUGAL 

chimneyless, and the smoke, instead of going "up 
in thin lines, comes in puffs from the upper 
windows or hangs in a little blue cloud over the 
roof. Beautiful little groups of brown-roofed 
houses, often half-hidden in trees, hang, as it 
were, by their teeth to the mountain-side ; some- 
times a whole house is supported above the steep 
rock on tall thin posts of granite. 

The road goes on through interminable lovely 
se?'ras, the Ave below, little more than a 
mountain stream, flowing from the Serra da 
Cabreira in transparent pools and white rushing 
falls. Beyond the small village of Rosas one 
looks back across hills of tall pines to a lovely 
view of many serras, blue-grey, faint and distant, 
but with each outline clearly pencilled one below 
the other and against the sky ; nearer, the hills 
are crowned with huge boulders of granite, and 
low walls are built of massive granite blocks. 
The country, in spite of all its granite, is green 
and peaceful, and crystal rillets and streams of 
delicious icy water flow even in the height of 
summer. The peasants have the clear-eyed, 
smiling faces of the mountain. On cloudless 
mornings, when the sun has not yet risen or is 
still mercifully hidden behind a hill of pines, they 
are already at work, silent in the maize, and the 
only sound to be heard is that of the singing of 
birds and the distant " singing " of ox-carts. 
And at evening there is an even deeper peace 



THE PROVINCE OF MINHO 179 

as some calm valley-stream flowing between 
vine-decked trees reflects the burnished gold-flame 
of the sunset sky. Here a single cypress towers 
darkly above the deep-brown roofs of a farm, 
there a white church, granite- edged, stands 
solitary among pine-trees. Cabeceiras de Basto 
is a village round a common of trees, with an 
old convent, and from Cabeceiras the road goes 
down to the Tamega, which divides Minho from 
Traz-os-Montes, rushing coropa-coloured in a 
deep rocky ravine. 




CHAPTER XXIV 

A WAYSIDE INN 

Ja vem vindo a noite, e tarn s6 a estrada, 
Senhor pae, nao digam tal da nossa casa 
Que a um cavalleiro que pede pousada 
Se fecha esta porta & noite cerrada. — Romance. 

(But now the night is coming, and so lonely is the way, 
Sir Father, of our house let no one say 
That to a knight who begs a lodging on the road 
Our door is closed when night has fallen on the day.) 

k HE road winds up and up interminably 
from the Tamega along the Ribeira 
da Pena, through rocky breathless 
hollows of crushing heat. Against 
the rock of the hill-side a great venda stands 
solitary. A stairway of granite steps leads up 
the wall on the outside to the principal room of 
the house, kitchen and dining- and sitting-room 
in one. The floor is of rough wood, with a wide 
space of granite raised three or four inches from 
the floor for the hearth or lareira, against great 
boulders of granite forming part of the wall, 
which is smoke-blackened to the roof. Near 
this great fire-place is a small round granite oven 
for baking maize and rye-bread, and along either 
side of it are solid high-backed wooden benches, 
called escankos, dormitorios or preguiceiros (where 

180 



A WAYSIDE INN 181 

one may sleep or preguipar, sit idle). There is a 
rhyme : — 

O fumo vae p'r' o seu logar, 
Quem 6 preguiceiro 
Deixa-s'estar. 

The word for lazy is, however, preguiposo, and, 
perhaps, it should be " Quem e no preguiceiro " : 
" The smoke goes to its own place and he who is 
on the lazy-bench lets himself be." This is said 
as the smoke, instead of creeping up the 
blackened wall, as a well-conducted smoke 
should, pours out in thick gusts through the 
house. In the south, chimneys are everywhere 
conspicuous, but in the north, and especially in 
the serras, where fierce wintry weather often 
sends men crowding round the lareira, a chimney 
is extremely rare. In summer the door can be 
kept open, in winter the smoke is " more irksome, 
um pouco peior" as a peasant said. 

In winter especially the lareira becomes a 
gathering-place where laughter and song, legends 
and wise saws and proverbs find their natural 
expression. Scented hill-plants crackle and great 
logs smoulder, supported on a large stone called 
in Traz-os-Montes trcfeguciro? (?also estafe- 
gueiro), and a string of sausages (called lareirada) 
hangs smoking above the fire. This solitary inn 
of Ribeira da Pena had a true witches' kitchen. 

1 The word trefegueiro is transferred from the stone to those who 
shiveringly hug the fire. 



182 IN PORTUGAL 

A huge caldron (caldeira) was suspended over the 
fire, and little black three-leggedj?ote,s- stood among 
the ashes. A distaff leant against the wall in a 
dark corner, in another a large cat was apparently 
sleeping, but no doubt watching that the caldron 
should not boil over, while a medley of rabbits, 
chickens and many strange vessels, small jugs and 
huge cantaros of tin and earthenware, 1 increased 
this Hcccenhausrat. Along the walls hung or 
stood focinhos (sickles) and bassureiros' 1 of gicsta. 
A storm was passing across the serra, and 
the kitchen was in darkness, except when the fire 
of twigs and whin broke into a momentary flame 
or the wind whirled open the door. Through 
the chinks of the roof (and ceiling) large hail- 
stones came rattling, till the floor was white and 
the fire sizzled. Sitting on a chair at the entrance 
of his house above the steps, a large felt hat 
(brown with red lining) on his head, the old inn- 
keeper conversed with his guests and lamented 
the time when his inn was crowded and many a 
carro and almocreve 3 passed along the road, now 
more deserted on account of the comboio - from 

m 

Braga to Villa Real, which swallows the traffic. 

1 In Traz-os-Montes these are called cantaros, the bilha there 
being a small jug, with spout and handle, painted over with flowers. 

2 Brooms (lit. rubbishers) of broom. In some parts of Traz-os- 
Montes the word for the plant broom (usually gie&ta) is said to be 
escova (broom, i.e. brush). 

3 Carrier, Span, arriero. 

4 Train. Trent means a hired carriage. 



A WAYSIDE INN 183 

His wife, handsome, white-haired, with large 
golden hoop-earrings, was busy about the fire, 
throwing handfuls of feijoes (beans) into the 
caldeira. 

The walls, inside as out, are of massive un- 
cemented granite ; the little square windows of 
granite are protected only by weather-grey un- 
painted shutters. The roof of tiles, with beams 
and huge smoke-blackened cobwebs, is undivided 
over the whole house, the " rooms " being low 
partitions fenced off with rough planks of pine. 
On the side of the road the granite windows frame 
beautiful views of a valley of fruit-trees and vines, 
and of the grim bare Serra do Alvao beyond. 

The house is on two levels, and the back door 
of the kitchen (in front high above the road) 
opens against the steep rocky hill-side, on which 
hang terraces of vegetables and fruit-trees, and 
vines and walls of ferns. A little field of maize 
is separated from one side of the house by a wall 
of stones, all along the top of which are set tins 
and boxes of carnations, pansies, etc. From 
these a path leads up by ferns and fuchsias 
(which the peasants call lagiimas, ' tears ') to the 
little laraiijal, some of whose orange-trees are 
still in flower, while on others the oranges are 
already the size of cherries, and to a fountain of 
clear, icily cold water from the rock, with two 
fern-fringed pools. On this side of the house is 
an open room or covered terrace, with floor of 



184 IN PORTUGAL 

planks, where chairs are placed for the idle to 
enjoy the cool of ferns and maize and fruit-trees 
and the sound of running water. 

Another inn, of the same region in Traz-os- 
Montes, stood likewise on two levels against the 
hill ; on the road it had a venda, a little shop 
with a wide counter, two rough planks fixed to 
the wall as shelves, two great barrels and a few 
benches and boxes. On boxes, since in the 
whole house there were but three chairs, sat men 
at cards (it being a Sunday), and outside, in the 
road, others were playing a rough kind of quoits, 
while one strummed on a guitar. A wooden 
staircase led up by a trap-door to the upper storey 
of large, perfectly bare rooms divided by planks. 
Here a door opened on to the garden and a dog 
and a pig ran in and out. The smoke from the 
kitchen fire hung in thin blue sunbeams from 
the chinks in the tiles, for a feast was toward : 
roast cabrinho (kid), roast potatoes and a cuartilho 
of vinho verde, 1 at two or three vintens a head. 

1 The wine of the year, red or white, as opposed to wine that has 
been kept, ripe rancio wine — vinho maduro. 



CHAPTER XXV 

THROUGH TRAZ-OS-MONTES 

Se alguem menosprezar teu manto pobre 

Ri-te do fatuo que se julga nobre. — Thomas Ribeiro. 

(If any scorn thy coat of poverty 
Laugh at the fool and his nobility.) 

Traz-os-Montes 6" urn sertao desconhecido, urn retalho de Portugal 
segregado da civiliza<^ao. — Camillo Castello Branco. 

(Traz-os-Montes is an unknown desert, a strip of Portugal cut 
off from civilization.) 

IT is not altogether easy to travel in Traz- 
os-Montes, of which little is known and 
where men know little ; where the 
mountains are more treeless than in other 
parts of Portugal, the villages more remote, the 
roads rougher and the communications more 
scanty. It must have been of some village of 
Traz-os-Montes that Guerra Junqueiro was 
thinking when he wrote the lines : — 

n' aquella aridez flamejante 
Sem urn ramo frondoso em que uma ave cante, 
N'aquelle illimitado incendio abrasador, 1 

(in drought and glare, 
With not a branch in leaf, not a bird singing, 
But fiery heat unending everywhere), 

or the lines — 

Manha dejunho ardente. Uma encosta escalvada 
Seca, deserta e nua, & beira d'uma estrada. 

1 A VeUiice do Padre Eterno . 
185 



186 IN PORTUGAL 

Terra ingrata onde a urze a custo desabroclia 
Bebendo o sol, comendo o p<5, mordendo a rocha. 1 

(A burning mora of June. A rough hill-side 
Desolate, dry and bare, along a road. 

The soil is poor, the heather barely lives 

Drinking the sun, eating the dust, biting into the rock.) 

The Serra do Alvdo, reaching to Minho, 
already lacks the pines of Minho's mountains and 
stands bald as a sierra of Spain, dull green, 
brown and blue. Goats and dark-brown cattle 
graze there, and on the steep hill-side little huts 
of granite are mills for grinding rye and maize, 
their wheels turned by a rushing torrent, whose 
churned white water is in one place thrown up 
against the blue sky. The grey twin-towered 
church of Ribeira da Pena stands solitary below, 
and peasants come thither to Mass on Sundays 
from little churchless groups of houses high on 
the hills, ten kilometres or more distant. Above 
Santa Eulalia, a group of ten or twelve houses or 
huts with grey wooden verandahs beneath the 
eaves, the road still ascends shadeless through 
heather and bracken with a splendid view of the 
wide circle of serras to the right of Santa Eulalia. 
Another group of houses stands in the hills, and 
in these grey villages of Traz-os-Montes the 
carnations, nasturtiums and pansies flame and 
glow against the granite walls along the window- 
ledges of granite. Santa Marta, almost on the 
top of the serra, lies in a glaring sunshine with 

1 A Lagrima. 



THROUGH TRAZ-OS-MONTES 187 

scarcely a tree or shade of any kind, burnt and 
colourless like a piece of the mountain-side, 
without chimneys, without glass, without a scrap 
of whitewash. Near it are wide fields of rye and, 
beyond them, a far blue serra below. Carazedo 
do Alvao lies similarly in a high plain, among 
corn and great stretches of grey flat rock. A 
stream flows sluggishly beneath little bridges of 
slabs like those of Dartmoor, and through 
meadows and heather and silver birches, where 
graze cattle and horses. 

With more care than the houses of these 
villages are built the quaint granaries or 
canastros for storing rye (and in Minho for the 
maize), the wood of which is often carved and 
the posts carefully hewn. They are of wooden 
planks, usually painted red, and are barely a 
yard wide and three or four yards long (or 
divided at intervals of about three yards by posts 
of granite) ; they are some ten feet high, with 
tiny steep roofs of tiles or thatch, and stand on 
granite posts one or two feet from the ground. 

From Villa Pouca de Aguiar, a village in a 
wide mountain-valley of maize and corn, chest- 
nuts and pines, the train winds like a caterpillar 
across rough boulder-strewn serras. The little 
villages are like round mounds of earth and rock, 
roof above roof, sunbaked and chimneyless, with 
terraces of maize and vine-hedges along the walls 
of the terraces : Zimao, Tourencinho, Samarda 



188 IN PORTUGAL 

Fortunho and Abrambres, the last village be- 
fore Villa Real. Villa Real is one of those little 
towns that immediately attract by their air of 
individual character and quaint ancientry. And 
it fascinates not the stranger only, since the 
cantiga says : — 

Oh Villa Real alegre, 
Provincia de Traz-os-Montes, 
No dia que te nao vejo 
Meus olhos sao duas fontes. 

(O gay Villa Real, in Traz-os-Montes province, on the day that I 
cannot see you my eyes are springs of tears.) 

It is the capital of Traz-os-Montes and 
lies below the great Scrra do Marao (1422 
inetres in its highest point), and, during summer, 
in a glow of heat. The river Corgo flows 
black in a deep ravine, the rugged rock going 
down precipitously from the houses of Villa 
Real to a depth of many hundreds of feet. The 
streets, roughly paved with slabs, are narrow and 
irregular, the eaves of the houses jut far forward, 
the tiles of them painted underneath bright red 
or blue, pink or green. With its curious 
wooden balconies, grey verandahs beneath the 
roofs, great coats-of-arms in stone, old walls 
covered with vines or gay with carnations, tall 
stone crosses, ancient churches of beautiful 
arched entrances, the whole town is a delight ; 
and it is surrounded by a fair country of serras 
and pinewoods. Little white chapels stand high 
on the hills, and in Traz-os-Montes, as in Minho, 



THROUGH TRAZ-OS-MONTES 189 

abound little granite pillars, like letter-posts, 
with niches (charolas) for roughly painted 
crucifixions and the souls in flame crying 
" Compassion for the souls, " " Remember the 
blessed souls." 

A carro de correio goes over a torrent-scored 
road to Murca ; now the coachman's hat, now 
the letter-box hanging to the side is jerked into 
the road as the carro lurches on its way. The 
serras are treeless, covered with great shrubs of 
a very shrill yellow-green heather and the grey- 
green of broom ; trees of broom line the road 
in places. Before Murca the road winds 
and loops down to a tributary of the Tua, which 
flows here through a deep ravine of pines and 
below narrow terraces (but a few feet wide) of 
vines, maize and vegetables. The main street of 
Murca, Rua Marquez do Voile Fldr, is 
of massively built houses, the divisions of the 
granite showing beneath the whitewash. 1 The 
street is saved from gloom by the profusion of 
flowers on iron balconies, wooden-posted 
verandahs and granite ledges — trailing wistaria 
and ivy geranium, vines, fuchsias, pansies, 
nasturtiums, hydrangeas, carnations. One house 
outside the village is of yellow-brown stones 
without mortar, like a rough wall, and seemingly 

1 The Minhotos mania for whitewash thus continues. The 
inhabitants of Murca have even painted green and red the great 
stone wild boar in their praga, now that it represents no longer 
the House of Braganca but the Republic. 



190 IN PORTUGAL 

all acrumble ; but it is heavily loaded with 
wistaria, the flowers showing beautifully against 
the yellow stone. 

The Mayor of Murca (administrador do 
concelho), a little pale-faced intelligent man, 
unshaven, in a worn suit of black with canvas 
shirt and bowler, was driving out in a carriage 
drawn by three horses to exercise his authority 
in the village of Palheiros seven kilometres away. 
It was in the cool of the morning, and the walk 
would have been a pleasant one had dignity 
permitted. Palheiros, in a bare windy serra of 
lavender, heather and cistus, is a beautiful line of 
houses on a hill entirely covered with olives, 
above which the chimneyless roofs show a deep 
burnt brown. The walls are of yellow-brown 
stone, with external stone stairways that make the 
narrow irregular street even more narrow and 
irregular. The name of the village is " Thatched 
Huts," but many of the roofs have now exchanged 
thatch for tiles. 

Some miles further on Franco, a little village 
of cementless yellow stone houses and rough 
wooden verandahs, in a shadeless heat, belongs 
not to the jurisdiction of Murca, but to that of 
Mirandella. Its streets are partly straw and 
partly smooth, steep rocks. The inn takes long 
to discover and is entered through a farmyard 
piled high with cistus, broom and lavender for 
fuel. Stone steps lead from this court up to the 



THROUGH TRAZ-OS-MONTES 191 

kitchen and one other room, with whitewashed 
walls blackened by smoke. Rosaries, a few 
pictures of saints, some books of devotion, 1 a 
long leathern trunk with two great locks and a 
pattern of brass nails, chests of plain wood 
serving as benches, and a wooden bedstead, 
slightly carved, formed the principal furniture. 
There were no window-panes nor frames, but the 
doors and shutters of weather-beaten wood, worn 
through in places, were still solid. The woman 
of the inn was at work in the fields, but, with the 
assurance that there would be little delay — nao 
demora nada — a small girl went leisurely to fetch 
her. In an hour a pleasant, sun-wrinkled woman 
arrived, smiling and eager to provide a meal, if 
possible. Talvez arranja-se alguma coisa. In 
half an hour she returned from scouring the 
village with some eggs and coffee, and presently 
the whole house filled with a thin blue smoke 
and a delicious smell of crackling thyme and 
lavender and cistus. Ovos estrellados, black 
coffee, an immense loaf of dark-brown rye-bread 
and a basket of large green figs were well worth 
the two hours' delay. 

In Franco on a summer midday the sparrows 
and swallows are the only active things. A 
silence of overwhelming heat lies upon the 

1 Among others a " Manual do peregrino portugues em Lourdes," 
" Moral e Doutrina Christa," " Cartilha da Doutrina Christa," the 
last including a geographical description of Portugal, and a table of 
weights and measures, etc. 



192 IN PORTUGAL 

glowing roofs, and the bare serra that surrounds 
them appears to burn and crumble. Only a few 
women creep out with their canecas for water ; 
the pigs and chickens and children crouch in the 
narrow, irregular shade thrown from the roofs or 
by the rough stone stairways. A few carnations 
gleaming on arched wooden verandahs are the 
only sign of flower, herb or tree. 

The serra is patched with large fields of rye ; 
the harvest being carted in July, and often 
by moonlight to avoid the heat. Sound carries 
far in these silent, treeless serras, so that on 
clear, calm evenings, long after the singing 
of the last ox-cart on its homeward way from 
the fields has ceased, when the orange, brown 
and purple has now faded along the margin of 
the hills and the sky is thinly sprinkled with 
stars, the Angelus may be heard, thrice three 
notes falling softly in the silence, from some 
hidden tower. And then the silence deepens, 
and the country far and wide 

tace coutenta 
Dell' ultima dolcezza die la sazia. 

Mirandella, a little many-windowed town on the 
river Tua, receives the full force of the sun 
in the valley. From Mirandella a train now 
goes twice a day to Braganca, although it does 
not continue into Spain. The neat, tiny stations, 
far from their villages, have vines and carefully 
kept gardens full of flowers. Olives and soutos 



THROUGH TRAZ-OS-MONTES 193 

of chestnuts 1 and wide tracts of rye surround 
the villages, but the hills are bare and have 
a Spanish look, with nothing but thyme and 
cistus. The soil is red-brown and brown-yellow, 
and flocks of black sheep are to be seen 
conspicuous on the bleak hill-sides. Little dis- 
syllabic stations are a contrast of green and 
flowers in this bleakness : Lendas, Salsas, Rossas, 
Sortes ; then Rebordaos, Mosca, Braganca. 

Some vines immediately surround Braganca, 
but otherwise it is in a circle of desolate treeless 
hills and fields of rye ; to the west the Serra de 
Nogueira, to the north, partly in Portugal, partly 
in Spain, the Seri'a do Montezinho. It is a little 
ancient town of small, solidly built houses, the 
second city of Traz-os-Montes. Like Villa Real 
it has coats-of-arms carved in stone, wooden 
upper verandahs, and eaves of stone or carved 
wood with a fringe of brightly-painted tiles. The 
Cathedral, a long, low, low-towered building in 
the Prcifa de Almeida Garrett, is, in appearance, 
the poorest in Christendom. It has eleven 
Canons, which sounds princely ; but the Canons 
only received (before the Revolution of October) 
six tostoes (or half-a-crown) a day. The cloister 

1 The chestnuts are kept in holes scooped in the earth and 
stones ; but, plentiful as they are, they are soon consumed in the 
villages, where the yearly crop does not last six months. Potatoes 
in Traz-os-Montes are often called castanholas, no doubt from some 
connection with castanha, chestnut, although the real meaning of 
castanholas is " castanets." 

O 



194 IN PORTUGAL 

is of plain, whitewashed walls, with ceiling and 
floor of plain planks ; it contains a few crosses, 
chapels and confessionals and a store-room of 
wax- candles, and looks out through small 
windows on to a square of leeks and cabbages. 
One wall and the ceiling of the Sacristia are 
painted in wooden panels representing scenes 
from the life of St. Ignatius de Loyola. The 
interior of the Cathedral is likewise poverty- 
stricken : the floor is of rough stone, three parts 
covered with wood, on account of the bitter cold 
in winter ; there is scarcely a pillar or sculpture 
of any kind, and the door of the main entrance 
is kept shut by a great beam across it. It is all 
very quaint and attractively simple. 

A steep street with stone steps on either side 
and tiny narrow by-streets goes up to the Castello 
of the Dukes of Braganca. This castle still 
forms a little community apart, entered beneath 
a double archway of its encircling wall, through 
a street of deep little obscure shops. Near 
Braganca from the road to Portello only the 
Castle is to be seen, a magnificent sight, the 
great Torre de Menagem and the wall and 
smaller towers round it, the whole town being 
hidden in a hollow. The Torre de Menagem 
has a single delightful window high up in the 
wall, and near it is a low building of beautiful 
blocked arches ; at its foot the tall Pelourinho 
stands on a rudely-sculptured wild boar — a stone 



THROUGH TRAZ-OS-MONTES 195 

pillar (with sculptured figures at the top) to 
which offenders were fastened. * From the walls 
there is a full view of the bare hills stretching 
away to Spain, and of the town below. In 
another square, opening from that of Almeida 
Garrett, is held a market of little stalls under 
huge faded blue or purple umbrellas ; or the 
wares are set forth on the cobbles, baskets of 
fruit and great loaves of rye-bread weighing two 
kilos and costing six vintens. 2 Braganca and 
Villa Real are the only two towns of Traz-os- 
Montes, and they have the air of villages rather 
than of towns. Braganca, especially in spite of 
its Cathedral and eight churches and eleven 
Canons, has the appearance of being a mere group 
of houses round the Rua direita, humbly 
dependent on the magnificent ancient castle of 
the Bragancas. 

1 Whether the words have any or no connection, the first three 
syllables ,of pelourinho are pronounced exactly like " pillory." 
The 1-ollos of Spain served the same purpose (in Quevedo's El Buscori 
the rollo is twice mentioned as equivalent to "scaffold") ; but the 
rollos seem also to have served as a kind of judgment-seat. The 
famous and beautiful rollo at Villalon (Castille) is a square pillar 
covered with sculptured figures not only at the top, as is the 
pelourinho of Braganca, but down its four sides. The main street of 
the small village of Santa Maria la Rivaredonda, in Castille, is called 
Calk del Rrollo. The pelourinho at Lisbon also bore the name Forca 
dos fidalgos (the Noblemen's scaffold), owing to the many nobles 
there executed. 

2 In Minho a maize loaf weighing about three kilos costs seven 
vintens. 



CHAPTER XXVI 

WHERE LUSITANIA AND HER SISTER MEET 

But these between a silver streamlet glides 
And scarce a name distinguished the brook, 
Though rival kingdoms press its verdant sides. 

— Byron. 

BETWEEN Badajoz and Elvas the 
Guadiana runs sluggishly, half choked 
by sedges and cistus. Fields of borage 
and white parsley seem to stand for 
the Royalist colours, but presently appear fields 
of scarlet poppies under olives. 1 The towers 
and houses of Elvas now gleam from its hill 
above dark ramparts. Especially beautiful is 
the view of Elvas from another side, across a 
country of olives and azinheiras, with the Forte 
de Graf a to the right and on the left the immense 
Aqueducto da Amoreira (mulberry- tree) with 

1 This is a matter of some importance. Columns of the 
Portuguese Press have dwelt upon the merit of white and blue and 
of green and red. The commission which decided upon green and 
red as the national colours declared that "Red is the colour of 
conquest and of laughter. ... It is urn grito de clarim chromatisado 
— a chromatised trumpet-cry." No one, it was said, finds fault with 
papoulas (poppies) because they are red ; nor was the objection that 
the sky is blue considered valid, since not only the Portuguese sky 
but all skies are blue. A chromatised trumpet-cry is evidently 
unbeautiful, since nothing could be uglier than both the red and 
the green chosen for the new flag. 

196 



ELVAS 197 

its four storeys of arches. A cantiga says of 
Elvas : — 

J& Elvas nao e cidade, 
Nem villa lhe chamarao : 
Jd os arcos da Amoreira 
Deram comsigo no cMo. ' 

But the arches of the four- centuries-old 
aqueduct are not fallen. 2 

One enters the town across a moat and 
beneath an archway in the fortifications, and 
a wide cobbled street then goes steeply up 
through white and yellow-washed houses, with 
cool spaces of acacias. The whole town gives 
the impression of air and cleanliness and clear 
though not glaring light. Nothing can be more 
picturesque and delightful than a market at 
Elvas. Laden donkeys rattle across the cobbles ; 
a large space of cobbles is covered with deep -red 
bilhas for sale, near which a man sits selling 
oranges. Groups of long-cloaked men stand at 

1 Elvas is no more a city, 
No longer to be called a town : 
The arches of its aqueduct 
Are all tumbled down. 

2 The popular rhymes of Elvas are very numerous. Another 
says : — 

Se fores a Elvas 
Segue direitinho, 
Olha nao tropeces 
Que e mau o caminho. 

(Should you go to Elvas 
See that you go straight, 
And beware of stumbling, 
For the road is in bad state.) 



108 IN PORTUGAL 

the corners of the streets that go steeply down 
from the wider space which forms a prapa. The 
extraordinarily brilliant colours, especially red 
and orange, of the women's kerchiefs, shawls and 
dresses, and the red and purple or yellow 
trappings of the donkeys make the scene a gay 
one, in spite of the sombre effect of the men's dress. 
Even in summer they wear full long cloaks of 
a light-brown manufactured wool reaching to 
the feet, and greaves (ceifoes) of tanned leather 
or, more often, of dark-brown fleeces ; and they 
carry huge umbrellas. The trousers are worn 
tight down the leg and drawn closely over the 
knee to the ankle, where they spread out like a 
cup over the foot. Their immense bushy 
whiskers are carried round so far that scarcely 
an inch or two inches of unshaven chin remains. 
Their gigantic black hats (chapeos desabados, 
twenty inches or more across) give, with the 
huge black whiskers, an extraordinary air of 
gloom to thin, white faces and a ruffianly air 
to others. Yet the general impression is of 
quietness and good humour, a quietness of voice 
and word that is not to be found in Spain ; and 
the expression of their faces sad and serious, 
readily changes to a humorous smile. In no 
part of Portugal shall one find dresses and faces 
more characteristically Portuguese than here at 
Elvas within sight of Badajoz and Spain, no- 
where is the fundamentally different temper of 



ELVAS 199 

the two peoples more apparent. Borrow spoke 
of the two countries as having been " hitherto 
kept asunder by the waywardness of mankind," 
but, although the Spanish rivers and mountain- 
ranges are prolonged into Portugal, the spirit 
of Spain ends north of the Minho and east of 
the Guadiana, and it becomes at once apparent 
that the union of the two countries is unlikely 
ever to be more than temporary. 

The very rivers abandon their Spanish turbu- 
lence. The mighty Tagus, after its entrance 
into Portugal, flows broad and placid, yellow- 
brown through white sand and reeds, olives, 
ricefields and oranges, below little villages of 
storeyed houses, white with brown roofs ; and 
so goes tranquilly seaward, the rocks and 
gutturals of Spain forgotten. Camoes, indeed, 
speaks of the " smooth and joyful ' : Tagus 
encircling the noble ancient city of Toledo, 1 but 
the epithets suit the sleek Tejo of Portugal 
better than the rocky ravines and rushing waters 
of the Spanish Tajo. 

Equally strikingis the contrast of the northern 
frontier. Near Braganca the Sabor, here a small 
stream, flows through stones and sand and shingle, 
between little riverside meadows and fruit-trees 
and patches of cultivated ground, and passes 

1 Toledo, 
Cidade nobre e antiga, a quern cercando 
O Tejo em torno vae suave e ledo. 



200 IN PORTUGAL 

dark and sluggish beneath poplars and alders. 
Many are the birds and dragonflies ; and sweet- 
briar, foxgloves, cistus and meadowsweet, mint 
and loosestrife and lavender, grow along its 
banks. The green and flowers are the more 
precious to those who realize that not many 
leagues away are the colourless, treeless plains 
of Castille, where one may walk ten kilometres 
on stony, dusty roads through interminable 
cornfields and find no larger shade than that 
thrown by a thistle or a milestone. 

Between Braganca and Portello on the 
Spanish frontier there are two tiny villages. 
Franca's slate roofs and walls of yellow stone 
lie beneath a dark massive serra in tall vines 
and immense chestnuts along the Sabor. Portello 
itself, a few kilometres away on the hill, is a 
village even smaller than Franca : you will be 
told that it has but sete vioradores, seven heads 
of houses (Span, vecinos). Then the road goes 
down, now in Spain, among bare ranges of 
rocky hills to Calabor. 

\ More bleak to view the hills at length recede, 
And less luxuriant, smoother vales extend ; 
Immense horizon-bounded plains succeed. 

Calabor is a small picturesque heap of houses 
among vines and poplars, as far from Portello 
on the Spanish side as Franca is on the Portu- 
guese. The difference between the two races 
is at once clearly marked. There is a far greater 



CALABOR 201 

show of energy, but all action seems to have 
been translated into speech. The language is 
more vigorous, the expressions more forcible, 
every phrase and gesture is strong and energetic ; 
but nothing is done. The houses are more 
neglected, the ' streets ' of Calabor consist of 
sluggish streams and straw ; slovenly unshaven 
carabineros lounge in the venta, where the flow 
of noble full-sounding Castilian is a delight. 
A road from Calabor is " in process of construc- 
tion," and a man on horseback goes daily with 
the letters to Puebla de Sanabria, unless in 
winter the snow lies too thick in the mountain 
passes. Though the spirit may rejoice, the flesh 
rebels against the improvidence of Spain after 
the thoughtful temper of Portugal ; for the 
Portuguese study how they may live with least 
annoyance and disquiet, but the life of the 
splendidly self-sacrificing Spaniard often appears 
to be a hard and angular preparation for death. 



CHAPTER XXVII 

ON THE OPEN ROAD 

Aguilhada na mao o tardo lavrador 
Leva pela azinhaga o carro geraedor ; 
As ovelhas do bardo e as cabras do curral 
Rompem a tilintar colleando pelo val. 

(Now goad in hand the peasant slowly guides 
His groaning cart along the rough hill-path. 
The sheep now from the fold, goats from the yard 
With tinkling bells are sprinkled through the valley.) 

THE roads of Portugal never have the 
air of utter desolation frequent in 
the Spanish carreteras, in spite of the 
fact that on some of them the traffic 
is less frequent and the houses are less numerous 
even than in Spain, where at least the little 
cottages of the peoncs camineros mark each 
league of road. But while in Spain the dust 
and stones and lack of shelter make it often 
equally wearisome to rest or to proceed, in 
Portugal the difficulties in walking are of another 
order. For here cool shade and pleasant streams 
are never long absent, and the scenery offers an 
excuse for prolonging a rest from hour to hour. 
The difference between Spain and Portugal in 
this respect is best shown by the constant occur- 
rence in Portuguese literature of words such as 
floresta, herva, relva (short grass, lawn), sebe 

202 



ON THE OPEN ROAD 203 

(hedge), etc., in contrast to the rare and poetical 
use of bosrjue and selva in Spanish. Even in 
summer springs and rillets of icy transparent 
water are pleasantly frequent, and honeysuckle 
hedges or hedges of broom and foxgloves, myrtle 
and cistus, or recesses of cool ferns, harebells and 
mosses, give, in the words of Berceo, " for tired 
man an enviable retreat " — 

Logar cobdiciadero para omne cansado ; 

and the sun guards these retreats with ardent 
rays flashing on every side like the flaming sword 
that metaphorically guarded Eden. Near 
villages one meets troops of market-people, and 
donkeys disappearing under their load of scented 
brushwood or carumba. 1 Or a carvoeiro, 
though more often to be met with in some 
steep path or azinhaga of the hills, urges on his 
horse or mule laden with charcoal ; or a seller of 
bilhas passes, the red earthenware glowing 
between the network of his donkey's panniers. 
Here a donkey is driven along with a load of 
maize loaves for outlying houses, there the 
azeiteiro passes, his donkey laden with small 
barrels or tins of olive oil. Slow ox- carts 
1 sing ' along the road, processions of men and 
women go to or from their work in distant fields. 
But the carters and almocreves are fewer than in 
Spain, and one misses the great jingling 

1 In Extremadura carumba is the uame given to branches of pine 
cut for firing. 



204 IN PORTUGAL 

diligencias, the carts drawn by strings of four or 
five mules, as well as the strongly marked 
characters and strange scenes to be met on the 
roads of Spain. In Alemtejo you will meet 
mostly shepherds. A shepherd may often be 
seen sitting or standing by the road-side. His 
wide felt hat is of brown, and he is entirely 
covered with thick brown fleeces ; and his 
umbrella of light faded blue is rolled round its 
giant frame so that it is not more, not much 
more than eighteen inches in circumference. In 
Minho, a land of scattered houses and villages, 
the wayfarers are more frequent, but on the 
whole the roads, 1 though far better kept than 
those of Spain (and apparently at far less cost 
and trouble), are most often deserted. The 
Spanish itinerant beggar from village to village, 
the blind men with their lazarillos, the pilgrim 
with staff and cockleshells, the tramp carrying 
his alforjas over his shoulder, are absent from 
the roads of Portugal. The distances given by 
the peasants are always vague, and a very real, 
although easily remedied, drawback of walking 
in Portugal is the deficiency of signposts and 
milestones. The signposts are exceedingly rare, 
the wayfarer over and over again is left to 
choose one of four roads at his discretion ; and the 
milestones, that in France so pleasantly shorten 
the way, are here set only from league to league 

1 In 1904 Portugal had 11,097 kilometres of roads. 



ON THE OPEN ROAD 205 

and not infrequently are, like Carroll's famous 
chart, " a perfect and absolute blank." The 
peasants never say that they do not know the 
distance from some town or village ; they stop 
and count out loud : " Three and four and eight 
and five — it will be twenty kilotremos " — the real 
distance being ten or forty. Or they will point 
out an atalho, a short cut as being but a legoa to 
a village, whereas it is found to pass over one or 
more mountain-ranges. Here, as in Spain, nao 
ha atalho sem trabalho, there is no short cut 
without long toil, and one may distrust all 
the peasants' short cuts, while their vaguer 
directions, such as that one may arrive a 
tardezinha, in the little afternoon or a noitezhiha, 
at the little nightfall, or that the village is perto, 
Id acima, or Id embaioco, or that one has um 
boucadinho still to go, should fill one with 
dismay. For Id embaioco may mean four or five 
leagues away, and a boucadinho, an exceedingly 
common word, meaning literally " a little 
mouthful," may be prolonged almost indefinitely. 
But although they are often totally misleading 
in their counsels, the peasant l and shepherd 2 and 
cantoneiro will spare no pains to set the 
traveller right, often going out of their way in 
the burning sun to point out one of their atalhos 

1 Aldedo. 

2 Pastor or rebanheiro. The word pegureiro is mostly to be met 
with, in books. (Cf. the Spanish pegujalero or pegujarero.) 



206 IN PORTUGAL 

across the hills, and declaring, with a nao por 
isso, 1 that their service merits no thanks. Their 
salutations are many and various, differing from 
region to region — Bom dia, boas tardes, muito 
boas tardes in the south ; in the north the 
graver Deus o guarde, Salve o Deus or simply 
A dens, or Va com Deus (far less full and 
sonorous than the Spanish Vaya Vd. con Dios). 
The peasants raise their hats and shake hands on 
meeting : Ok Senhor Migoel, or Como jmssou, 
Senhor Joaol (How are you? how has time 
passed for you ?), and when taking leave they say, 
Passem bem (as in Catalonia) or Salut or Bern 
senhores, ate logo (au revoir). Another common 
salutation is Viva; a peasant will enter an inn 
with the words, " Os senhores vivam, Life to your 
lordships." 

1 No se las merece ; il n'y a pas de quoi. 



CHAPTER XXVIII 

THE PORTUGUESE LANGUAGE 

He that travelleth into a country before he hath some entrance 
into the language goeth to school and not to travel. — Bacon. 

BORROW spoke of "the shrfll and 
squeaking dialect of Portugal," but 
the first impression produced in a 
traveller from Spain, is that of the 
quietness of the spoken word, due in part to the 
softer voices. And the language is so entirely 
different in accent and pronunciation from 
Spanish that one feels in no way inclined to call 
it a dialect. It is strongly accented, but soft and 
trailing, often, indeed, rising and falling in a kind 
of wailing sing-song, and the sentences have 
melancholy cadences and dying falls. It is as 
different from Spanish as a stream of gentle 
meanderings among pliant sedges is different 
from a clear impetuous mountain-torrent flowing 
over stones. 1 Borrow also said : " Nothing 
surprised me more than the free and unem- 
barrassed manner in which the Portuguese 
peasantry sustain a conversation and the purity 
of the language in which they express their 

1 Cervantes described Portuguese as "Castilian without the 
bones." 

207 



208 IN PORTUGAL 

thoughts ; and yet few of them can read or 
write." Although the peasants can still, for the 
most part, neither read nor write, they are 
generally intelligent and quick of speech, and, 
indeed, their Portuguese, in spite of strange 
confusions, is preferable to the French- 
Portuguese of the journalist. They may say 
kilotremo for kilometro, or drumir for dormir, or 
sobrecristo for sobrescripto, or triato for theatro ; 
but at least they speak in pure Portuguese, with 
merely some little transposition of consonants, 
whereas many Portuguese constantly employ 
foreign words and phrases. These more strict 
observers of accurate grammar will use such 
words as greve, gave (for estafdo), poulet, 1 
lanchezinho (for a small morning meal, being 
' lunch ' with the diminutive zinho attached) ; 
and a local Republican newspaper recently 
founded, " Alma Algarvia " by name, rose in 
its fifteenth number to a high level of Franco - 
Portuguese in the word parde-sou for an over- 
coat. There is in Portuguese little uniformity 
of spelling, and Brazil adds to the confusion. C 
and S and Z, I and E, 1 and U, O and U, etc., 
are often interchanged, and often equally 
correct. 2 Thus one finds igreja and egreja 

1 The very Portuguese word for chicken,. frungo, may perhaps be 
derived from ' French ' or ' Frank ' (cf. the Span, gallo). 

2 The Republic, lavish of decrees, has attempted to fix the 
spelling officially, but the confusion has only become worse con- 
founded. 



THE PORTUGUESE LANGUAGE 209 

(church), ceo and ceu (sky), mes and mez 
(month), merccaria and mersearia (grocer's shop), 
comboio and comboijo (train), coisa and cousa 
(thing), alfaiate and alfayate (tailor). On the 
other hand, a trifling confusion may lead into 
serious error ; azougue and acougue, for instance, 
are carefully distinguished, the former meaning 
a butcher's shop, the latter quicksilver. The 
S and Z at the end of words are both pronounced 
like a French J, 1 wis and luz rhyming. The 
pronunciation of Portuguese becomes less 
difficult 2 when it is realized that the accent is 
as a rule on the penultimate syllable (thus Leiria 
Lijboa, Setubal), and that the ~ (called tit) stands 
for an N. Thus the last syllable is often scarcely 
pronounced, the final E and O sounding like 
I and U, or rather as a kind of blank sound, just 
implying that the vowel is there, without pro- 
nouncing it. The most puzzling peculiarity of 
Portuguese is the continually recurring A, AO, 
O, OE, etc. The A (e.g., in irma, sister, or 
Covilha) is pronounced as if it were AN, irman, 

1 The S in some Basque words, e.g. esnia, milk, has the same 
sound of French J, though at the beginning of words it is pronounced 
sh (sua, fire, sem, son, being pronounced skua, skem). 

2 Besides the pronunciation, a great difficulty of Portuguese is 
that of the verbs. The irregular verbs arc many and confusing ; 
and the infinitive is also a stumbling-block. The use of the infinitive 
is, indeed, curious; thus, 'to go' ('for me to go' or 'for him to 
go ') is para ir, but 'to go ' (' for them to go ') is para irem, or 
if it means 'for thee' or 'for you' or 'for us to go,' it becomes 
para ires, irdes, irmos. 

V 



210 IN PORTUGAL 

Covilhan. The O is pronounced as the French 
ON : poe (he places) is thus pon-e(i) ; Camoes 
is Camon-ij. The AO similarly sounds as if it 
were written AN-O : French AN, and the O as 
a scarcely perceptible XJ,pdo (bread), being thus 
pronounced almost exactly as the French word 
for peacock. In the same way the final vowel of 
acho (I find, I think) is inaudible, the word being 
pronounced exactly as the French for H. 

But, although the final syllable is thus slurred, 
the Portuguese do not like a word to end in a 
consonant, and in pronouncing words such as 
sal,jantar, Senhor the peasant always adds an E 
(pronounced I). Some of the words have a 
delightful softness, as chuva, 1 rain, janella, window 
or bilha, the word used, especially in the South of 
Portugal, for ' pitcher ' instead of the hard 
Spanish cantaro. A similar avoidance of any- 
thing harsh or abrupt is seen in the inability to 
say simply sim, yes, nao, no. It is always Sim, 
Senhor, or the verb is repeated : e.g., Are you a 
doctor ? Answer : Sou, sim Senhor ; Can I 
find . . .? Answer: Acha ; Is it . . .? E, sim 
Senhor. Another form of this softness is the 
delight in diminutives, especially among the 
peasants. Thus the mendigos implore a little 

1 CH is pronounced as in French or as English SH. The 
Portuguese X (like the Catalan X) has a similar sound : e.g., coxo 
(lame) is pronounced cosh(u). In an old Chronica Cambridge is 
almost unrecognizable in the form Cabrix. 



THE PORTUGUESE LANGUAGE 211 

halfpenny, a little penny, dezreisinhos, urn 
vintezinho ; The Spanish Ay de mi is Coitadinho 
de mint ; a little old woman is uma mullierzinha ; 
obrigado (thank you) even becomes obrigadinho 
and the name Joaquim Quinzinho. Yet Portu- 
guese is no loose and feeble language ; on the 
contrary, it is a language strangely compressed 
and contracted, and the syllables are telescoped 
one into the other. So in Traz-os-Montes quelha 
(from canelha) is a word meaning a narrow path, 
and so rela is used for a frog (from the diminu- 
tive, ranela, of ra) ; and so we have quente (hot), 
so (alone), cor (colour), a (for aa, to the), etc. 
Thus it is possible to derive Izeda, a village 
in Traz-os-Montes, from Latin ilex, oak, and 
Assumar, a village in Alemtejo, from its Roman 
name Ad Septem Aras ; and de lez a lez (or 
de les a les) means from side to side (from the 
Latin latus). 1 

1 Cf. the f les ' and ' le ' iu English place-names. 



T 



CHAPTER XXIX 

A MODERN PORTUGUESE TOET 

*^HE name of Camoes is apt to dwarf 
Portuguese poetry, and the fame of 
the Lusiads to obscure Camoes him- 
self, since his beautiful lyrics, eclogues 
and sonnets are comparatively little read. l One 
of his sonnets, especially, has something of the 
breathless intensity of Dante : — 

Alma minha gentil que te partiste 

Tarn cedo d'esta vida descontente 

Repousa la no Ceo eternamente 

E viva eu ca na terra sempre triste ! 

Se la no assento ethereo onde subiste 

Memoria d'esta vida se consente, 

Nao te esquecas de aquelle amor ardente 

Que ja nos ollios meus tam puro viste ! 

E se vires que pdde merecer-te 

Alguma cousa a dor que me ficou 

Da magoa, sem remedio, de perder-te, 

Roga a Deus, que teus annos encurtou, 

Que tam cedo de ca me leve a ver-te 

Quam cedo de meus ollios te levou ! 

But Portuguese literature can boast a long 
unbroken line of singers, from the earliest 
romances to the intellectual revolutionaries of 

1 Perhaps even the Lusiads are more praised than read. A 
bookseller of Coimbra remarked that Camoes had no sale, he was too 
well known. 

212 



A MODERN PORTUGUESE POET 213 

the nineteenth century. The most persistent 
note of all this poetry is a vague sadness ; the 
Portuguese Muse seems to have bidden all her 
votaries to sing sad songs, in the words of Guerra 
Junqueiro : — 

Canta-me cantigas manso, muito manso, 
Tristes, muito tristes como a noite, o mar ; 
Canta-me cantigas para ver se alcauco 
Que a minh' alma durma, tenha paz, descanco, 
Quando a Morte, em breve, me vier buscar. 

(O softly, very softly sing to me, 
Sing me sad songs, sad as the night, the sea, 
Sing songs to me and so perchance release 
My soul to sleep and to find rest and peace 
When death shall come to seek me presently.) 

We find this note in popular cantigas, such as : — 

O cantar e" para os tristes, 
Quern o pode duvidar ? 
Quantas vezes jd cantei 
Com vontade de chorar ! 

(O'singing is for those 
Who are in sadness steeped, 
O how often have I sung 
When I would fain have wept.) 

as well as in the poetry of Camoes : — 

Amor e alegria 
Menos tempo dura 
Triste de quern fia 
Nos bens da ventura. . . . 
Alegre vivia 
Triste vivo agora, 
Chora a alma de dia 
E de noite chora. 

(O love and joy 
Are swiftly dust, 



214 IN PORTUGAL 

Unhappy they 
Who fortune trust. . . . 
My life was gay 
Now sad it creeps, 
My heart weeps by day 
And by night it weeps.) 

endechas that are as sad as the lines of Christ- 
ovam Falcao (16th Century) : — 

Todo o bem e j£ passado 
E passado em mal presente. 

(All happiness is past and changed to present sorrow.) 

So Pedro de Andrade Caminha (1520-1589) 
says that : — 

O prazer e leve, 
Mais que o vento corre 
E apos bem tam breve 
Toda a vida morre. 

(Joy is light as a leaf, 
Swifter than wind it flies* 
And after pleasure brief 
Our whole life dies.) 

and so Joao de Deus (1830-1896), three centuries 
later, insists that life is dust and nothingness : — 

A vida 6 sonho tam leve 
Que se desfaz como a neve, 
E como o fumo se esvae ; 
A vida dura um momento 
Mais leve que o pensamento, 
A vida leva-a o vento, 
A vida e folha que cae. 

(Of life how slight the show, 
Fading as fades the snow, 
And as smoke thinned ; 
Lighter than thought, one brief 
Instant set in relief, 
Life is a falling leaf 
Borne by the wind.) 



A MODERN PORTUGUESE POET 215 

In the sadness of Guerra Junqueiro, 1 most 
prominent of living poets of Portugal, there is a 
difference. His gloom is due less to unreasoned 
saudade than to definite causes. He writes of 
the toilers and les miserables, of peasants and 
shepherds and fishermen, of neglected schools, 
crumbling villages and ruined fortresses. From 
such a school as he describes runs, he says, " a 
high-road to prison ; the school produces the 
grain for the prison cell to garner " : — 

D'esta eschola a uma prisao 
Vae um caminho agoireiro, 
A eschola produz o grao 
De que a enxovia e o celleiro. 

If Guerra Junqueiro has Victor Hugo's love 
of rhetoric and of antithesis and some of his 
grandiloquence (a murderer is not a murderer, 
nor a sceptic a sceptic, nor a wit a wit ; they are 
Cain, Voltaire, Falstaff), he also has Victor 
Hugo's great pity for the poor and helpless and, 
occasionally, a gleam of his incomparable poetry. 
Like Victor Hugo, too, he can convey a thrill of 
gloom and horror : — 

E negra a terra, e negra a noite, e negro o luar, 
Na escuridao ouvi ! ha sombras a fallar. 

(The eartli is black, the night is black, and black is the moon- 
light. But listen ! in the darkness there are voices of shadows 
speaking.) 

He is at his best when he writes of the 

1 Abilio Guerra Junqueiro, born 1850, since 1911 Minister 
Plenipotentiary of the Portuguese Republic in Switzerland. 



216 IN PORTUGAL 

humble and downcast (one small volume of his 
verses is entitled Os Simples) ; of the emigrants 
(in- Finis Patriae) : — 

Olhae, olhae, vao em manadas 
Os emigrantes. 
Uivos de do pelas estradas 
Junto dos caes, nas armuradas 
Das naus distantes . . . 

Adeus divinos horisoutes 
Inda a cantar nos olhos seus ! 
Adeus manh&s doirando os montes, 
Herva do campo, agua das fontes, 
P'ra sempre adeus. 

(See where they go, the bands of emigrants, with cries of sorrow 
on road and quay and distant ships. . . . Farewell to the divine 
horizons which their eyes still reflect, farewell to the mornings that 
shed gold over the mountains ; grass of the fields, water of the 
fountains, for evermore farewell.) 

of the old shepherd (in Os Simples) : — 

Candido na paz das solidoes dormentes, 
Ignorando o mundo rancoroso e vil ; 

(Simple in the peace of the sleeping solitudes, ignorant of the 
rancour and vileness of the world.) 

of dark narrow streets at night, full of squalor 
and rubbish : — 

Uma velha rua miseravel 

Cheia de podridao . . . 

A noite estava escura 

E n'esse beco a treva dir-se-hia 

Feita de tinta negra e de gordura ; 

(An old and miserable street filled with decay. . . . Dark 
was the night and in this lane the obscurity seemed to be made of 
rubbish and black ink.) 



A MODERN PORTUGUESE POET 217 

of dead desolate villages : — 

Andam so pela rua os porcos e as creancas, 
Fome, desolacao, luto, viuvez, miseria 
Na aldeia morta ; 

(The street is solitary but for pigs and children. Hunger, 
desolation, mourning, widowhood and want dwell in the dead 
village.) 

of villages shadeless and silent, where the sun 
beats mercilessly : — 

O meio dia batia ja na torre da egreja. 
A aldeia e silenciosa e triste. O sol flameja 
Entre o surdo murmurio abrasador da luz. 
Como n'um grande forno os grandes montes nus 
Recosem-se, espirrando as urzes d'entre as fragas ; 

(Midday is striking from the church tower. The* village is sad 
and silent. The sun flames in the dull murmur of a blaze of light, 
and the bare mountains lie as in a mighty furnace while the heather 
writhes among the rocks.) 

of the return of the labourers at evening (Ao cahir 
das folhas in A Morte de D. Jodo) : — 

Tarde do outomno. O sol morreu ao longe 

Com pompa gloriosa 

N'uma explosao de luz ; 

E a noite cae na terra silenciosa 

Como na face livida d'um monge 

A sombra d'um capuz. 

Nas linhas sinuosas das montanhas 

Arvores collossaes 

Tomam formas fantasticas, estranhas 

De hybridos auimaes. 

Objectos mui vulgares 

Durante a luz do dia ' 

Com as escuridoes crepusculares 

Apresentam aspectos singulares 

D'uma nova poesia. 



218 IN PORTUGAL 

Os aldeoes cantando uraa cancao 

Vem recolhendo d, casa, 

Perpassa na amplidao 

De quando em quando a nodoa d'uma aza . . , 

\A vem dos aldeoes o alegre bando 

Descendo pelo outeiro, 

Vem rindo e vem cantando 

Depois de trabalhar um dia inteiro. 

(An autumn afternoon. The sun had died afar with pomp 
and glory in an explosion of light ; and night falls silently over the 
earth like the shadow of a hood on a monk's livid face. In the 
mountains' undulating lines mighty trees take shapes fantastic and 
strange, as of hybrid animals. Things common in the light of day 
assume peculiar forms of a new poetry in the evening shadows. The 
peasants/ singing a song, are returning home ; from time to time the 
shadow of wings passes across the sky. . . . There comes the gay 
troop of peasants down the hill ; they come with laughter and with 
song after a whole day spent in toil.) 

And Guerra Junqueiro's muse has lighter 
moments. The following three verses are from 
an idilio in A Musa em Ferias : — 

Ah que inefavel pureza 
Que candura imaculada, 
Dir-se-hia que a Natureza 
Nasceu esta madrugada. 

• • • • « 

O olhar d'oiro das boninas 
Contempla o azul : ao vel-as 
Dir-se-hia que nas campinas 
Cairam chuvas de estrellas. 

Entre as sebes orvalhadas 
Dos rumorosos caminhos 
As madreselvas doiradas 
Tapam as bocas dos ninhos ; 

(Pure with ineffable gleam 
Of brightness undefiled, 
Fair Nature, it would seem, 
Was born this very day. 



A MODERN PORTUGUESE POET 219 

The daisies' golden eyes 
Watch the blue heaven : the fields, 
It seems, from out the skies 
Have received rain of stars. 

In hedges bright with dew 
That hem the rustling paths 
The nests of birds from view 
Gold honeysuckle guards.) 

A Noite dos Amoves (in A Morte del). Joao) 
gives a description of an April night : — 

A noite era d'Abril. ceo era profundo 
Como concha de luz voltada sobre o mundo. 

Custava distinguir se os rios e o mar 
Seriam feitos de agua ou feitos de luar. 

Fallavam entre si as arvores, as rosas 

E a immensa multidao das coisas silenciosas. 

(The deepset sky upon this April night 
Bent o'er the world like a great shell of light. 

And one might scarce distinguish if the streams 
And sea were made of water or moonbeams. 

The mighty multitude of silent things 

And trees and flowers spoke in whisperings.) 

broken by song to the accompaniment of the 
guitar : — 

Bailai raparigas, 
Cantai as cantis;as 
A luz do luar. 
Erguei-vos do leito, 
Violas ao peito, 
Cantar e bailar ! 
Nao sente canseira 
Nao pode cansar 
Quern baila na eira 
Quern canta ao luar. 



220 IN PORTUGAL 

Saltai nas espigas 
Deixai os cuidados, 
L& vem as fadigas 
Ld, vae o luar, 
E adeus as cantigas 
E adeus o cantar. 
Entao raparigas 
Erguei-vos do lei to, 
Violas ao peito 
Ate as quebrar. 

(Dance, girls, and sing songs in the light of the moon ; rise 
from your beds and sing and dance to the guitars. They cannot feel 
tired who dance on the threshing floors and sing in the light of the 
moon. Leap in the corn and leave all care, soon will sorrows come 
and the moonlight be gone ; then farewell to singing and farewell 
to the dance. So then rise from your beds and strike loud the 
guitars.) 

But an underlying sadness is not long 
absent : — 

raizes agudas dos ciprestes, 

raizes das flores, 

Dizei : o que fizestes, 

que fizestes v<5s dos meus amores ? 

(0 pointed roots of cypresses, roots of flowers, tell me, what 
have you done, what have you done unto my love ?) 

Sometimes Guerra Junqueiro appears to be 
merely weaving a fair web of many words, as in 
the Orapau a Luz : — 

Candida luz da estrella matutina, 
Lagrima argentea na amplidao divina, 
Abre meus olhos com o teu olhar ! 
Viva luz das manhas esplendorosas 
Doira-me a fronte, inunda-me de rosas 
Para cantar . . . 

(Bright light of the morning star, tear of silver in the sky's 
immensity, open my eyes to thy vision ; living light of clear 
mornings, gild my forehead, bathe me in roses that I may sing.) 



A MODERN PORTUGUESE POET 221 

But Guerra Junqueiro is essentially a singer 
of revolution, and, although he can be diffuse 
and vague, he can also be most pointed and 
satirical, dipping his pen in the bitter ink of 
Juvenal. He writes burning lines against the 
law and existing institutions : — 

Eu que proscrevo o algoz eu exigil-o-hei 
Para enforcar sdmente esse bandido — a Lei. 

(I, who the executioner would banish, yet demand 
That he should hang one brigand — called the Law.) 

If, however, it is true, as a contemporary 
poet writes of him, that as each belief falls 
before his onslaughts, he may sing songs of 
victory but it is with sadness in his heart, 1 he also 
has the poet's love of tradition. Certainly, 
when the Portuguese revolution began with the 
murder of the King and Crown Prince in 1908, 
he must have thought of his own lines (in O 
Crime) : — 

E e doloroso ver dentro d'um ataude 
Um corpo juvenil, ensanguentado e frio. 



1 Queiroz Ribeiro in Tardes de Primavera : — 

Vae destruindo as crencas uma a uma . . . 
E ao vel-as dissipar-se como espuma 
Emquanto elle ergue os hymnos da victoria 
Ha lagrimas bem tristes na sua alma ! 

(He destroys belief after belief, and, as he sees them melt away 
like foam, his lips sing songs of triumph but tears of sadness are in 
his heart.) 



222 IN PORTUGAL 

But many of his most fervent verses prophesy 
upheavals, and not in Portugal only : — 

Adest, adest fax obvoluta sanguine atque incendio. 

An ode addressed years ago to "cynical 
England, shameless, drunken England," 

O cinica Inglaterra, 6 bebeda, impudente, 

accuses her of giving to the dark Continent 
Gospels and gin, evangelho e aguardentc, and of 
bartering her God for rubber and ivory ; but a 
judgment is at hand, for the poet decrees 
that : — 

Hao de os lords rolar em postas no Tamisa 

(The Lords shall float in pieces down the Thames.) 

and this uncomfortable voyage of the wicked 
aristocracy, with draggled ermine robes and 
bobbing coronets, is to be followed by a general 
destruction of 

Bancos, docas, prisoes, arsenaes^ monumentos, 

the end of the Lords being, as the poet thus 
shrewdly notices, the beginning of the end of 
England. But we prefer the Guerra Junqueiro 
who leaves rhymed prose and rhetoric for true 
feeling and poetry in singing of the peasants of 
Portugal and their hardy toil for bread : — 

Os lentos aldeoes vao recolhendo a choca. 



INDEX 



Abrantes, 121 
Affonso IV., 104-109 
Affonso Domingues, 112 
Affonso Henriques, • King, 103, 

150 
Aguas de Moura, 67 
Alcacer do Sal, 23, 64, 66 
Alcachofras, 15 
Alcoba, The, 102 
Alcobaca, 102-110, 113 
Aldeia do Carvalho, 133 
Alemtejo, 22, 24, 27-53, 67, 170, 

196-198, 204 
Alfama, 81-84 
Alfonso the Learned, 153 
Algarve, 54-62 
Algarvios, 4, 17, 56 
Alhos Vedros, 67 
Aljubarrota, 103, 110, 111 
Almeida-Garrett, Vizconde de, 

73, 84, 87, 155, 164, quoted, 

8, 9, 73, 98, 148 
Almocreves, 106, 182 
Amorim, Francisco Gomes de, 

quoted, 163 
Andrade Caminha, Pedro de, 

quoted, 214 
Angeja, 158 
Ave, The, 178 
Aveiro, 157, 158 
Azukjos, 74, 145, 170, 175 



B 



Ba$a, The, 102 
Barretes, 68 
Barriles, 17 



Batalha, 111-113 

Beckford, William, 96, 97 

Beira Alta, 141 

Beira Baixa, 24, 67, 122, 123, 

128-141 
Beja, 50-53, 55 
Belem, 85-88 
Belem, Torre de, 88 
Bernardez, Diogo, quoted, 28, 

166 
Bilhas, 31, 32, 51, 61, 66, 68, 

116, 165, 169, 197, 203, 210 
Bishop's alms, 57, 58 
Boeirinhas, 165 
Borba, 29, 30 
Borborinhos, 15, 170 
Braga, 21, 174, 175 
Bragan^a, 23, 193-195 
Brites of Aljubarrota, 110 
Broa, 133, 170, 171 
Bussaco, 19, 142-147 



Cabeceiras, 179 

Calabor, 200, 201 

Caldas da Rainha, 110 

Caldas do Gerez, 129 

Cambridge, 210 

Camoes, Luiz de, 22, 87, 155, 
212, quoted 3, 8, 12, 18, 27, 28, 
36, 44, 86, 98, 99, 106, 107, 
111, 115, 118, 128, 132, 136, 
142, 148, 152, 153, 162, 199, 
213 

Canastros, 187 

Canecas, 159 

Canellas, 158 

Gangas, 159, 165, 171 



223 



224 



INDEX 



Cantigas, 7, 10, 11, 16, 54, 188, 

197, 213 
Carazedo do Alvao, 187 
Carpimentos, 15 
Carrinhas, 59, 60 
C'arros, 27, 37 ; de correio, 20, 

41, 42, 166, 189 
Carvoeiros, 63 
Casa Branca, 64 
Castello Branco, 23, 123 
Castello Branco, Camillo, quoted, 

185 
Castilho, Joao de, 86, 120 
Castro, Ignez de, 104-109, 152 
Castro, Joao de, 96 
Cavado, The, 165, 174, 176 
Caycos, 161 
Cea, 131 
Ceifoes, 27, 198 
Chao das Macas, 119 
Charnecas, 26, 34, 37, 48, 49, 63, 
170 

Chelleiros, 100 

Chiar, 171, 172 

Chimneys, 55, 136, 178, 181 

Cholocas, 169 

Cintra, 77, 89-98 

Coimbra, 106, 148-156 

Collares, 98 

Constanca, wife of Infante 
Pedro, 105, 106 

Corgo, The, 188 

Coronas, 171, 173 

Covilha, 23, 131-133 

Crossas, 173 



D 



Deus, Joao de, 214 

Diligencias, 67, 166, 167 

Diniz, King, 103, 114, 115, 151 ; 

quoted, 124 
Douro, province of, 148, 157, 

158 
Douro, The, 157, 160-162 
Duarte, King, 112 



E 



Eca de Queiroz, quoted, 5, 12, 
71, 126 

Education, 24, 137 

Elizabeth, Saint, Queen of Por- 
tugal, 76, 114, 150, 151, 153 

Elvas, 168, 196, 197 

Ericeira, 100 

Esmoriz, 158 

Espinho, 158 

Estalagens, 21 

Estarreja, 158 

Evora, 43, 44-49, 51 

Extremadura, 24, 53, 63-70, 91, 
95, 100-102, 121, 122 



F 

Falcao, Christovam, 214 
Faro, 56-59 
Ferradas, 159 
Ferragudo, 60 
Fielding, Henry, 76 
Franca, 200 
Franco, 190-192 



G 



Galeras, 68 

Gama, Diogo de, 121 

Gama, Vasco de, 85-87, 94 

Garrett, Joao Baptista da Silva 

Leitao Almeida. See Almeida- 

Garrett 
Goes, Damiao de, quoted, 8 6 
Gorros, 37, 68 
Gouvea, 131, 140, 141 
Gradil, 100 

Gregory XV., Bull of, 145 
Guadiana, The, 44, 196 
Guarda, 123 
Guerra Junqueiro, Abilio, 39, 

49, 134, 185, 212-222 
Guimaraes, 171 



INDEX 



225 



Henrique, 'the Seafarer,' 121 
Herculano, Alexandre, 87, 112 ; 

quoted, 54, 89, 157 
Honey, 36 
Hospedarias, 20-22 
Hotels, 20, 21, 23 



Janeiro*, 14 
Janelleira, 61 
Joao I., 93, 111, 112 
Joao III., 93, 121 
Joao de Ruao, 150 



Language, 207-211 
Lanheze, 167, 169 
Leca, The, 164 
Leiria, 114-117 
Lima, The, 166 
Lisbon, 71-84 
Liz, The, 115 
Luzo, 142, 147 



M 

Mafra, 20, 95, 99, 100, 113 
Maios, 14 
Malhadas, 28, 63 
Manoel I., 86, 87, 94 
Manteigas, 131, 137, 139, 140, 
141 

Manueline style, 86, 87, 113, 

120, 143 
Mattosinhos, 164 
Mendes-Leal, Jose da Silva, 

quoted, 85 
Mindello, 164 
Minho, 14, 15, 163-179, 186, 187, 

Minhotos, 170 
Mirandella, 192 



Monchique, 60 

Mondego, The, 108, 148, 149, 

150, 152-154 
Money, 22, 173 
Monserrate, Quinta de, 96, 97 
Mulhelhas, 172 
Murea, 189, 190 



N 



Nazareth, 102 
Nightwatchmen, 39 
Noras, 110 



O 

Ocresa, The, 123 
Odelousa, The, 61 
Oporto, 157-162, 171 
Ouricesarias, 159, 168 
Ovar, 158 
Ox-carts, 68, 69, 172, 173 



Paes, Gualdim, 119, 120 

Palheiros, 190 

Palkofas, 173 

Peasants, 3-17, 27, 29, 61, 64, 

65, 68, 69, 70, 77, 122, 129, 

133, 138, 140, 167, 170, 177, 

178, 198, 205-208 
Pedro, King, 104, 105, 106 
Peiveiras, 78-80, 101 
Pelourinkos, 195 
Philip II., King of Spain, 87 
Philippa of Lancaster, 93, 112 
Pinhal Novo, 67 
Poceirao, 67 
Ponte do Lima, 174 
Porborinhos, 170 
Portimao. See Villanova de 

Portimao 
Portuguesa, A, 41 
Povoa de Varzim, 163 
Prado, 174 

Q 



220 



INDEX 



Praia da Rocha, 60 
Praia das Macfis, 98 



Q 

Quinta de Sardinha, 118 
Quintets, 10, 173 



R 



Rebanheiros, 134 

Redondo, 39 

Regoa, 162 

Republican, 156 

Resende, Garcia do, 107-109 

Ribeira da Pena, 180, 181, 186 

Ribeiro, Bernardim, quoted, 33 

Ribeiro, Thomas, quoted, 54, 

185 
Roads, 33, 37, 64, 65, 123, 202- 

205 
Rollos, 195 
Rosas, 177, 178 



S 



Sd de Miranda, Francisco de, 

155 ; quoted, 114, 115 
S& e Meneses, Francisco de, 

quoted, 157, 164 
Sabor, The, 199, 200 
Sado, The, 64, 66 
Saloios, 77 

Santa Clara a Velha, 60 
Santa Eulalia, 186 
Santa Marta, 186, 187 
Santarem, 106 
Sao Marcos da Serra, 60 
Sao Martinho, 102 
Sao Migoel de Machende, 42 
Sebastian, King, 4, 67 
Serra do Alvao, 183, 186 

do Barroso, 173, 176 

da Cabreira, 176 

do Caldeirao, 60 

dos Candieiros, 102, 111 



Serra de Caramullo, 141 

do Carvalho, 175 

da Estrella, 122, 128-141, 



148 



da Gardunha, 133 

do Gerez, 128, 176 

de Louza, 155 

do Marao, 188 

de Monchique, 60, 61 

do Osso, 34, 41 



Simide, 155 
Soalkeira, 60 
Sobreira, 122 
Socos, 159, 169 
Surroes, 43 



T 



Tagus, The, 72, 77, 80, 88, 95, 

199 
Tamega, The, 179 
Teixosa, 133 
Thomar, 119-121 
Torrao, 31 
Torres Vedras, 100 
Traz-os-Montes, 24, 172, 173, 

180-195, 199-201 
Tua, The, 189, 192 



U 

Urban VIII., Bull of, 143, 144 



Vallado dos Frades, 102, 110 
Vendas, 16, 17, 37, 64, 65, 69, 

110, 137, 138, 180-184, 190- 

191 
Verdelhos, 134, 136-138 
Vianna do Alemtejo, 37 
Vianna do Castello, 166, 167 
Vicente, Gil, quoted, 8, 9, 50, 

63, 85, 127-131 



INDEX 



227 



Villa do Conde, 163 
Villa Nova de Guia, 161 
Villa Nova de Ourem, 119 
Villanova de Portimito, 59, 60 
Villa Pouca de Aguiar, 187 
Villa Real, 188, 195 
Villa Vicosa, 30, 39 



W 

Wellington, The Duke of, 142, 
160 

Z 

Zezere, The, 136, 139, 140 



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